This was an unexpectedly short trip, and also the second time in the past month that I bailed on hiking lower Eagle Canyon. About three weeks earlier I tried a southern approach to Eagle Canyon from the Moore Cutoff Road but I got a later than planned start, and the dirt road was so long and rough that the drive was taking twice as long as I expected. I bailed out because I would have been hiking during the hottest part of the day and I didn’t want to carry that much water for me and the dogs. This time I drove in on a better road from the north and I left the dogs at home, so it should have worked out better. I’d planned a Friday through Sunday trip, and I got to the area early enough on Friday that I had time to drive into Coal Wash to look for some inscriptions. I found a few near the Drips, then several more about half a mile upstream.
I left Coal Wash and drove toward Eagle Canyon as the sun went down. I got to the rim of Eagle Canyon and found a place to park the truck and camp for the night. Unfortunately, shortly after I arrived I began to feel unwell. My son already had a cold, and before I even left home I thought I might be feeling some symptoms, but the rest of the day I’d been fine–until I wasn’t. First I felt hot, then I got the chills, then a cough. I went to bed early still hoping I’d feel well enough in the morning for a hike, but that didn’t happen.
I felt so cruddy and achy that I was up before my alarm went off, and I decided to just pack it up right then and head home. I knew I wouldn’t be hiking and decided the best place to be was at home in bed. I started the drive out in the dark and the sun was up by the time I reached the Dutch Flat Road. There was some nice light as the sun came up and at least I could stop to take a few photos on the way home. I’m still glad I at least attempted this trip, because I would have regretted it more if I’d stayed home and not gotten sick. Now I’m not sure whether to give up on ever doing this hike or persist and hope the third time’s a charm.
Photo Gallery: Coal Wash, but not Eagle Canyon