Red Knoll & Sand Bench

The boys scrambling up Red KnollA new geocache was placed in the San Rafael Swell last weekend, and since I only need the flimsiest of excuses to head down into the Swell, Traci and I decided to take the boys down for a little hike, then dinner afterwards. The cache was on Red Knoll, which I’ve passed dozens of times on my way through the Swell. I’ve always wanted to climb up on top just to see what’s up there, but never had much of a real reason to do it, at least not until today. The hike up wasn’t too bad, but we had to keep a sharp eye on the kids to make sure they didn’t go tumbling down the hill. The top of Red Knoll was pretty boring–just some soft sandy soil and small brush–but the view was excellent. It doesn’t look like anything bigger than a mouse or lizard has been up there in forever, with the exception of the person who placed the cache.
The moon rising over Sand BenchAfter finding the cache and working our way back to the truck, we made the relatively short trip to the Sand Bench road south of White Rocks. I’d been down that road before to a place that somebody called Hamburger Rocks, where the rock formations actually look like hamburgers (or pancakes, depending on which rocks you look at). The kids loved going there before, and so did I, so I thought it would be a perfect place to fix a nice dinner and play. Unfortunately, I wasn’t counting on all the loonies who go camping anywhere in the desert just because it’s Easter weekend coming up. We saw dozens of trailers, some occupied, others empty just to hold somebody’s spot, on the way down into the Swell from Cleveland, but I didn’t think we’d see anybody at Sand Bench. Anyway, since there were trailers and kids crawling all over our intended spot, we pressed further down the road hoping to find some place decent to stop and fix dinner. After a couple of miles, we found a road that looked like it went close to some more of the rock formation that we wanted to stay at, but it soon turned into an ATV trail. My truck probably lost some paint on the brush that we drove through, but we made it to a really good spot. The kids played, we ate bbq chicken and pasta, we played some more, fired the new XD-40, and when it was finally dark, we drove home. It was a most excellent day, especially for a weekday.

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