Escalante is a very small town in southern Utah. The truth is, I really wanted to call this blog post “The Vagina Monologues” as it is a more appropriate title for the recurring theme of the trip, but I stuck with the more family friendly, “Escalante”.
I met my best friend in Provo at the tiny little airport jam packed with a mix of good Mormons doing mission related activities, and pretty extreme looking outdoorsy folks desperate to get into the beautiful Utah wilderness. We drove straight down to Escalante where my family friends have an awesome home.
- To do as many hikes as possible.
- Sleep in.
- Cook a lot of delicious meals.
- Drink beer.
- Understand the female reproductive system.
Okay, so the last item on the list wasn’t exactly planned, but it became a topic that was discussed in lengthy detail. There were long conversations that stemmed from the simple enough “Hey, let’s have kids” (I’m paraphrasing for time sake as anyone knows that the topic is NEVER NEVER NEVER that simple no matter how many movies and books tell you so). That seed started my BFF down the path of education on what is happening in our bodies… You know, the “Our Bodies Ourselves” kind of deep introspection that is the subject of truly fascinating conversation to half the population. Let’s just say that the one male member of our hiking weekend party did a lot of quietly backing out of the room once he got wind of the ongoing conversation.
Back to the hiking adventure! Our first hike was a rolling 6-mile round trip hike to the breathtaking “Calf Creek Falls”. I totally went swimming in the near freezing water. There were, unfortunately, too many people at the watering hole to go skinny dipping which would have been preferable, but you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.
When we began our route back to the car from the falls, the bright sun was hot in its blue sky. Half way in, we heard a deep rumbling of what sounded like thunder, but didn’t seem to be possible as there was no visible storm cloud. As we progressed, the storm cloud made itself seen, moving quickly over the landscape. It was beautiful! The rain started to trickle a quarter mile away from the car, and by the time we stopped for coffee at a super cute spot in the middle of nowhere, it was a full blown downpour that resulted in mini waterfalls, and even a few power outages in the restaurant. It was awesome!
Meet Mike and Jenny, our hosts. You might recognize their faces from a previous river adventure blog post that I’ll never forget. Mike and Jenny are very good friends of the family, and two of my favorite people on the planet. I love them more than I have the time to express in this blog post. They are obviously super fun to be around as the “Lady and the Tramp” moment suggests.
We think the beetles were mating, but we don’t know.
So… This photo marks the beginning of what could be considered a whole other adventure. The water in the slot canyon was too deep for Doug, the dog. Mike stayed with him, leaving us three ladies to work our way through the rock formation that clearly resembled a giant vagina. Thus began a very literal reference to “Our Bodies Ourselves”. We disrobed to our skivvies, and the two of us donning underwear with the least amount of fabric led the charge. Lets just say, poor Jenny saw things she cannot unsee. There was a lot of challenging bracing and scaling involved that allowed for both the philosophical and literal deep insight into our person. Things happened in there that I don’t think should be put into words for the world to imagine. Because I couldn’t bring my camera with me, we’ll only have our memories to live with for the rest of our lives.
This part of southern Utah has some bitchin’ rock formations that we’ve never seen anywhere else. There are these rocks called Moqui Marbles that once eroded, roll down the hills and collect in pockets. They are super cool to look at, but I didn’t really get any photos of them that I loved. There are also these sphere-like knots that seemed to come up out of the rocks like straws… Some are tall, others shorter that seemed to have broken off. We are all standing around one those here.
Slot canyon number 2!
Here is the team putting our clothes back on.
Car bar!!! Our friends, hosts and guides packed a cooler full of beers to enjoy at the completion of our long day hike. They are so smart!!!
Can you count how many things are wrong with this picture?
We stopped for gas on Escalante’s main street before working our way to hike number three. I snapped this shot from the passenger side window.
Mike was standing behind me when I took this picture. I saw something fall on my lens and thought the joker was messing with me but it turned out to be a grasshopper!
I am so lucky to call this landscape home. There is no place like it anywhere in the world. I am also lucky to have such amazing friends and family to continue to explore it with, even as I make my home in Los Angeles. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some light reading to get back to…