Hayduke day 26

Day 26, mouth of Stevens canyon, Escalante River, 15? Miles
I’m in no hurry this morning and we both pack up leisurely. I head off for the shoulder of the nearby high point to get some cell reception and have enough time to update my online journal. 
We drop down to a beautiful canyon and walk the wash for a bit until we climb out to contour around a dry fall. We make our way to Stevens canyon and it’s gorgeous. We contour above it for awhile on slick rock which is fun and offers great views. When we make it to the bottom it’s awesome. Water is flowing and we walk along it or criss cross it. The walking is easy on slick rock and it’s just so pretty! We have lunch at the water right before it seems to dry up and I enjoy my shallow kiddie pool. I was going to try the deeper bath tub but the water was too chilly. I could lounge around here for hours! 

We eventually move along and climb above another dry fall. We’re high above the canyon bottom now on slick rock. Some of our route is very exposed with steep drop offs. It’s all doable but we have to be very careful and I might have had a mini meltdown if I’d been alone. Having Zach for company keeps the nerves from getting to me. I’m also very very happy that my shoes have good grip. 
When we finally make it down again it’s a pretty steep descent and we end up in a mini jungle. Water is plentiful again and so are the plants. We have to bushwhack a bit and make our way around boulders to make forward progress. It’s challenging to keep our feet dry and I settle on switching to my sandals. Zach is like Greenleaf and is determined to keep his feet dry, he does an impressive job. We have to climb up and over boulders sometimes to avoid deep pools but there are also sections again where it’s nice walking along the pretty creek. At some point we’re a bit higher again and getting down is down some small ledges to a pile of stacked rocks. My pack is lucky that Zack offers to hold it so I can descend without it, otherwise I would have probably thrown it down. Zack reminds me that I could have lowered it with the cord I have. Oh yeah, duh! 

We’re both happy to get to the end of the canyon and see the Escalante. We’ve had enough adventure for the day. Today was amazingly beautiful and scenic but definitely tiring in keeping the concentration up to stay focused and upright. 
We’re at a sweet campsite on a bench in Stevens Canyon, close enough to the Escalante that we can hear it run. Stevens arch is within view of our campsite. 
What a day!

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