April 4-7, 2019
My first camping trip of April was with a great bunch of folks from Backcountry Post. Nick planned a big get-together not far from where I normally camp each October near Temple Mountain. I arrived after work on Thursday and found a few people already there who I knew online but had never met in person. After some greetings I snagged a camp spot and then went for a short hike to the top of a little round knoll just south of Flat Top. From there I had excellent views of the Henry Mountains, La Sals, and Thousand Lake Mountain. A few of us spent some time around the camp fire that evening, and I went to bed in my cot under the stars.
On Friday I headed out for a solo hike in a short side canyon off Wild Horse Creek that had always intrigued me. Instead of taking the long way down Wild Horse Creek and then up the side canyon, I took a shortcut up a steep and loose hillside into the head of the canyon. I explored around the head of the canyon quite a bit, but found the going pretty rough down the canyon itself. Not seeing anything of interest, I headed back to camp and took a little nap in the sun.
That afternoon I went for another hike in my favorite arrowhead hunting grounds and found one whole and one broken point within a few feet of where I’ve found several others in past years. That evening Chris the “Banana Man” arrived, as did many other people. We had a good night around the camp fire and did a little bowling.
The larger group split in two on Saturday morning, with about half doing the loop hike through Ding and Dang canyons, and the rest (including me) hiking to some nice pictographs. We took three vehicles and drove as close as we could until reaching a large washed-out section of road, then walked the road the rest of the way. We hiked the road, then through a wash, and finally up an old mining track into the head of a canyon where we found the rock art and stopped for lunch. There was a huge rock fall along the mining road that wasn’t there the last time I did this hike, and man I wish I could have seen all that rock come down! I was checking out cairns as we hiked in and I found one with a mining claim dating to 1950 inside a tobacco tin.
We hiked back out and then visited a faded pictograph panel on the way back to camp. That night we had a good ol’ time around the camp fire. A few of us stayed up ridiculously late and ate some strange meat I brought back from the Philippines a couple of months earlier. I slept in the front seat of the Jeep and slept in relatively late the next morning.
On Sunday morning Chris and I said our goodbyes and went for a hike near Little Wild Horse Canyon to see some more rock art that I’d stumbled onto years earlier. I had told Randy about it earlier in the weekend, and since Chris and I were getting a late start we ended up following his footprints into the canyon. The rock art was pretty cool and not very well-known, but this time we found some cist granaries and carved sticks that I hadn’t noticed the last time I was there.
I dropped Chris off at his car and headed home, but saw a familiar 4Runner on the shoulder of Highway 24. I hit the brakes hard and backed down the shoulder of the road, then assisted Chere with changing a flat tire. She was more than capable of handling it herself, but she prides herself on timing her flat changes and trying to beat previous times. Hopefully we put a dent in the previous record! 🙂
Photo Gallery: Backcountry® Fest 2019