Thursday, June 30, 2016

High Adventure 2016 - Blanding Utah - Day 3-4 - Target Ruin & Ballroom Cave then Hammond Canyon

Day Three we hiked up a canyon and checked out two different ruins, the first one was Target Ruin because of a target that was painted on an inside wall of the ruin.  The whole ruin is too high to get to so we only looked at it from across the canyon.
Target Ruin
Here's a closeup of the target (shot with the camera looking through a pair of binoculars):
The Target Painted on a wall at Target Ruin
Then we hiked a bit further up the canyon and found Ballroom Cave and shot this silhouette shot.  The cave is actually quite large, and at least 20 degrees cooler than the 90+ degrees we were hiking in out in the canyon!
Ballroom Cave
After that we drove to Hammond Canyon to backpack in to where the Three Finger Ruins are.  It was approximately a 5 mile hike down into the canyon to where our campsite would be, below the ruin.  We made it there in time to set up camp and have dinner, but not in time to explore the ruin that night.
View of Three Finger Ruin from our campsite
Do you see it? Probably not, it's up on that cliff and quite a hike to get to.
As we started making dinner, about half of the scouts and leaders realized they had forgotten spoons to have our freeze-dried meals!  So they carved their own spoons to eat with.  They were pretty proud of their work and took some time to make them usable.  I don't think they'll forget the spoons next trip though.

That evening we took off our shoes and socks and soaked them in the stream that went by camp.  It felt so good to cool our feet off and clean the dirt/sand off of them!

Day 4 - we decided to not make everyone hike up to the Three Finger Ruins, so just took those that wanted to and left at 6 AM.  It was quite the hike!
View of Three Finger Ruin a little closer up
We were told by a Navajo woman in Blanding that this area is sacred.  She was happy to hear that we were going to see it.  It took us a good 40 minutes to hike up to it, but as we got closer we knew it was worth the hike:
Three Finger Ruin Closer Up

Inside one of the rooms at Three Finger Ruin

Fingerprints still on the "plastered" walls at Three Finger Ruin

View from the Three Finger Ruins

It was an amazing experience to see and wonder what it was there for, what the people did that lived there, how they got food and water, why they chose such a remote place, etc.  We sat there and discussed ideas and soaked in the beauty of the place and the view for over 30 minutes.  It's mind boggling.

Then we hiked back down to the campsite and had breakfast, packed up, and hiked back out to the vehicles.  We had left a truck in a different location so we were able to do a loop instead of an out and back trip.

Lessons Learned:

  1. When it's 90+ degrees F outside, it's a good idea to carry a lot of water, and filters.  We did ok for water on the trip, but the weight of it was a lot to handle.  One of our leaders had the great idea to put some cut up watermelon and cold Gatorade in a cooler at the truck.  That was AMAZING!  Everyone loved eating the cold watermelon and gulping down the cold Gatorade!  It was exactly what we needed to lift our spirits after hiking up and out of the canyon.
  2. Bring any utensils you may need for the trip - though it was a good experience for those that forgot to make their own this time.
  3. Whenever you visit a place where people lived long ago, take some time and discuss with the scouts what it must have been like to live there at that time.  It's a great experience, and very insightful.  It brings the place alive.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

High Adventure 2016 - Blanding Utah - Day 2 - San Juan Hill

On day 2 of High Adventure we went to a museum about the LDS Pioneers that settled in the area.  We learned about the Hole-in-the-Rock Pioneers and their journey across from Cedar City area to Blanding.  They planned on it taking 6 weeks to travel the distance, and it ended up taking 6 months because of all the obstacles along the way! See my post about the actual hole in the rock where they carved a road down to the Colorado River HERE.  
After they had gone through most of the journey, they got to comb ridge, that goes for miles and is impossible to get wagons and teams over, till they got to San Juan Hill.  There they had to build a road up a hill of slickrock that the horses & oxen could haul their wagons up.  It took a few weeks, but they did it!  We drove out to the hill and hiked up it and were amazed that they were able to get the wagons up there!
Hiking up San Juan Hill
 Up at the top, the pioneers were so grateful to make it to the top that they carved into the side wall "We Thank Thee o God".  It's hard to see so we dumped a little water on it to make it show up better.  It was amazing to us that these people were on a trip that took four times what it was supposed to take, but they still were grateful to God.
"We Thank Thee O God"
Carved into the sandstone at the top of San Juan Hill
 After that we found a shady spot to have lunch.  As we finished up lunch the leaders got together and decided the scouts needed a challenge.  So we got their attention and told them "We have bad news, the Bishop is unconscious and needs to be carried back to the truck."  to which one of the youngest boys responds "can I drive his truck?"  Quick boy! :)

We determined to let the boys figure it out and tried to keep our mouths shut as they worked out how to carry Bishop back to the vehicles.  It took them about an hour to come up with a way that worked the best (which meant that Bishop could lay down and rest for an hour - which he was ok with).  The picture below is the stretcher they came up with and which ended up working to carry him the whole way.
Carrying an "unconscious" Bishop back to the trucks
We were impressed with the scouts in that they didn't argue or complain.  They took everyone's ideas and suggestions and worked together to create a working option.  I think if we were to do it again they would come up with a working option quicker and more efficiently.

Then we checked out Riverside Ruin to see some ruins that were nearby:
Riverside Ruin

After that we decided they worked hard and we all needed to cool off.  We drove to a reservoir and swam for a while.  Unfortunately someone had left the head of an elk in the bushes nearby and the rotten smell was strong!  We named the spot "Elk Head Point" but then hauled the head off into the trees to make it a more pleasurable swim.

High Adventure 2016 - Blanding Utah - Day 2 - San Juan Hill

On day 2 of High Adventure we went to a museum about the LDS Pioneers that settled in the area.  We learned about the Hole-in-the-Rock Pioneers and their journey across from Cedar City area to Blanding.  They planned on it taking 6 weeks to travel the distance, and it ended up taking 6 months because of all the obstacles along the way! See my post about the actual hole in the rock where they carved a road down to the Colorado River HERE.  
After they had gone through most of the journey, they got to comb ridge, that goes for miles and is impossible to get wagons and teams over, till they got to San Juan Hill.  There they had to build a road up a hill of slickrock that the horses & oxen could haul their wagons up.  It took a few weeks, but they did it!  We drove out to the hill and hiked up it and were amazed that they were able to get the wagons up there!
Hiking up San Juan Hill
 Up at the top, the pioneers were so grateful to make it to the top that they carved into the side wall "We Thank Thee o God".  It's hard to see so we dumped a little water on it to make it show up better.  It was amazing to us that these people were on a trip that took four times what it was supposed to take, but they still were grateful to God.
"We Thank Thee O God"
Carved into the sandstone at the top of San Juan Hill
 After that we found a shady spot to have lunch.  As we finished up lunch the leaders got together and decided the scouts needed a challenge.  So we got their attention and told them "We have bad news, the Bishop is unconscious and needs to be carried back to the truck."  to which one of the youngest boys responds "can I drive his truck?"  Quick boy! :)

We determined to let the boys figure it out and tried to keep our mouths shut as they worked out how to carry Bishop back to the vehicles.  It took them about an hour to come up with a way that worked the best (which meant that Bishop could lay down and rest for an hour - which he was ok with).  The picture below is the stretcher they came up with and which ended up working to carry him the whole way.
Carrying an "unconscious" Bishop back to the trucks
We were impressed with the scouts in that they didn't argue or complain.  They took everyone's ideas and suggestions and worked together to create a working option.  I think if we were to do it again they would come up with a working option quicker and more efficiently.

Then we checked out Riverside Ruin to see some ruins that were nearby:
Riverside Ruin

After that we decided they worked hard and we all needed to cool off.  We drove to a reservoir and swam for a while.  Unfortunately someone had left the head of an elk in the bushes nearby and the rotten smell was strong!  We named the spot "Elk Head Point" but then hauled the head off into the trees to make it a more pleasurable swim.