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Friday, May 1, 2020

Blarney Canyon Hike

Above is my AllTrails App screen capture for my hike into Blarney Canyon

The Blarney Canyon is adjacent to the Leprechaun Canyon, I previously reviewed.  It is south of Hanksville, UT with parking just off UT95, so any vehicle can get to this and Leprechaun Canyon.

You are probably thinking that most of my hikes in this area look the same.  Tis true, but each hike is that different.

The slot canyons also get narrow as you have seen.  Yes, Blarney Canyon turns out to be a slot canyon.

Above is Susan, not posing for a picture, is maneuvering through the tight section of the slot.

And in front of you is 6-7 ft high on the right and 5-6 ft on the left.  Susan showed me up and transgressing the left side.  I was still favoring my right shoulder from my fall and dislocation and didn’t want yo slip.

Susan went ahead out of sight to check what was ahead and she came back and I was half way up the right side with toes and fingers holding on.  

Susan held my hiking pole for me to grab and I got enough leverage to pull myself up with my left arm. (Good arm)

Note: we take work gloves on these hikes for better gripping and in case we slide.

I leaped frog Susan and found a way out of this crack to get her picture ahead of her.

This was not an easy rise out of the slot as it looks in the picture.  I actually had my backpack off in the slot as it was too narrow to have on.  At the end where the crack surfaces, it’s a 7’ rise with tough footholds.  I decided to lay my backpack in the crack below and tie a rope on it and step on my bag to get up where Susan is coming out of.  Susan also used the pack the same way.  I lifted the bag with para cord I had tied on to use on rest of hike.

We went right and left after coming out of the crack and met a couple coming down the trail / slot.  We followed where they came from and found this rackfall in the slot.  We turned around as we found out that they had climbing ropes and equipment to get through this.  I did not bring my minimal canyoneering equipment to want to try it.

Therefore, our hike back was secured to be the way we came.  This is not a bad thing since you can choose to turn around where you wish if you don’t think you can get back if you go further.  Safety First!

If you come from the top down and slid down some rock surfaces and had to turn around, you may have a problem getting back if you can’t climb where you slid.  Note that hiking alone in a slot canyon requires extra care not to put yourself at risk.

Before hiking partners I used to hike solo many places on long hikes.  Things can happen and having a partner is a wonderful thing.

I had to lower my backpack into the crack of the slot to step on it going back through the crack.

Happy hiking.


Leprechaun Canyon Hike

After Joanne, Susan and I toured The Little aegypt area we headed over for a hike of Leprechaun Canyon.

It’s what we didn’t know, that caught us by surprise.

We were guessing as we started the hike if the small protruding rock formations were what gave the canyon it’s name of Leprechaun Canyon.

They were on both sides for our hike further into the canyon.

Our first surprise was that the canyon became a skot canyon.

There is a bit of an elevation change where the water carved the slot.

But then was the big surprise.  We were in a deep slot. Very deep.  Long and narrow.

Here is a look up to the top of the slot.  It was windy and sand was being blown through the slot crack down on us.

Above Susan wondered under these large rocks wedges in the slot, but leaving enough room tobstill walk under it.

Above is a tunnel trope section.  Susan and i are on the slot floor and the crack of midday sun is shining through the crack way up above shining a line on the ground.

This is the thinnest deepest slot I’ve been in.  This was during social isolation because of the Coronavirus and others were also out hiking this trail.  At spots that were wide enough I would put myself in a corner.  We were lucky that we didn’t run into anyone in the tunnel.  I had made my mask to wear but wasn’t yet diligent about having it on in advance.  Shortly after this wearing a mask became a must.

Slot canyons are fun but as you will see in another slot hike some basic equipment is helpful.


Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Tacoma Needs Headlight Bulb & More

I’m in Utah and the Coronavirus is ramping up.  I decide to head home now!  I see my driver side headlight burnt out.  

I wasn’t worried about getting home but didn’t want to risk stopping for a bulb and putting it in, as I know from past experiences it is best to remove the car battery to get enough room to change the bulb on the drivers side.

I was a part time police officer many years ago and worked with the police through my years in the Fire Department.  Having a light out to a cop is like waving a flag at them, as stopping a vehicle with a light bulb out is a no brainer.  It is probable cause.

Well, I drove from central UT to my house in MA passing by police cruisers on the interstates for every state and I didn’t get one bite.  I guess to them they didn’t want the face to face contact.

On my arrival home I order up the replacement headlight bulbs and when I went to change the bulb the plastic tab that holds a spring that holds the headlight securely in place breaks off, leaving me with a bulb that will jiggle.

Above: My finger is pointing to where the tab that holds the spring broke off.

I then looked at both light fixtures had fogged lenses and they looked terrible.  Not to say they had done a poor job of lighting my way on my travels too.

I decided to order a new matching pair of after market light fixtures from Amazon for about $110. Above you can see how much clearer the drivers side was compared to the passenger side below.

I changed the drivers side leaving the foggy light on the passenger side.

I had to wait for a day of rain to pass to complete the other side.

The grill needs to come out to remove either light fixture.  There is one difficult bolt that holds the light fixture in and can only be reached by removing some fasteners in the wheel well to get to it, laying on the ground.

There it is with both light fixtures replaced and two new lightbulbs to have consistently in headlight intensity.

For those that know my truck I had a smoke colored lexan hood wind deflector I also removed.  Before I left in January, I was scraping ice off the hood and the lexan broke.  I left the rest there for my trip but it needed to be removed now that I’m home.

The reality of traveling with a vehicle is that things happen and repairs need to be made.  If the light bulb and fixture would have caused problems early in my travels I would have repaired them at my son’s in San Diego.  It’s nice to have a place to do things and the tools at hand while in the Southwest.

Happy Travels


Monday, April 27, 2020

Little Egypt

South of Hanksville, UT off UT95 is a place called little Egypt.  Another suggestion from my friend Roxy (A Nomad For Nature)

The suggestion to check it out was a great tip.  Although it is similar to Goblin Valley State Park, north of Hanksville, Little Egypt doesn’t cost anything go to get in.  It is also a place to go and can do it in any vehicle. 

It’s all about interesting rock formations. 

Also, some colors.

I know, I really am that excited in writing about more rock formations.  I don’t get tired of them👍

There are some special formations like the hoodoo above.  Like other rock formations you have to go and find for yourself as they are not marked on the map.

Here is another interesting one with the Southern Henry Mountains hiding behind it.

You look one way and then get a different view by turning and looking the other way.

The formations are fairly densely located so there is only moderate walking. 

Here I am layered up with windbreaker on top because there was a cold wind even though we had clear skies and lots of sun.

I thought this angled piece of stone was interesting in that it was exposed from wind and rain on this angle over time.

I hope you had fun at Little Egypt and take the 1/2 mile drive off UT 95 to see it.

Stay Safe


Wild Horse Canyon

Above is a Google Map screen capture)

My last post was about Wild Horse Window where the gold pin drop is above.  Parking at the same locations in blue to the right you can also access Wild Horse Canyon.  The long black line under the gold pin drop.

Above is a screen capture of my tracked hike on AllTrails.

Enter ming the mouth of the canyon wash was this artistic engineered stone arch that someone made.

There are some narrow slot sections of the canyon.

Other areas of the wash look like above.

The sandstone is washed allowing a view of the sandstone layers.

Here is an interesting sandstone structure, where the lower sections are layering on its side and then new layers on top that are horizontal  

Here is a small wreck/window in the side of the canyon

I climbed up the side of the canyon and took this picture looking west through the Swell.

Here the canyon base is wide.

And here the slot in the canyon has caved in and creates an obstruction and required hiking up and over this spot.

It’s an easy slot canyon to hike but narrow in spots that created social distancing problems if you are to meet others coming from opposite direction.

This didn’t happen during this hike, although there were others on the trail.  At tis  BJ point I was carrying my face mask to put on if it was needed.

This is an easy hike to get to and to hike.  I hiked round trip at 4.2 miles.  You can hike further about another mile to get all the way through the swell.  The location of this hike is also not far from the unique Goblin Valley State Park, that is also fun to hike.

Happy hiking


Friday, April 24, 2020

Wild Horse Window

Above is a Google Maps screen capture with Wild Horse Window and Wild Horse Window Trailhead pin drops

Thanks to My friend Roxy “A Nomad For Nature” for the recommendation for this hike.  This is an easy to get to location and my Prius followers can drive here with no problem.

Above I have included my AllTrails App screen capture of my hike.

Note that I looked for that straight line trail shown as a dotted line on the map.  Well folks, this is where you need to use your GPS skills and hike to where you can get to the window with and without trail information.

The reason you ask?  Well like many hikes on rock there may not be evidence of a trail and those increasingly larger/smaller stone piles are often wrong as people that don’t know that they are trail markers make them confusing others. 

There is nothing better than you developing skills to know where you are and how to get back.

I’ve come across the wash looking back to my FWC/Tacoma on the level ground up there.

Nope! Not Navajo Mountain I have shown in previous hikes.  This mountain is the Henry’s 

Ok finally found evidence of a trail in the sand.  You can’t see but there are some old sand blown footprints if you get good at finding them

Above at the top of this small wash are the caves at the end.

In the cave on the right is the window with the noon sun shining down.

Here I am with my back to the caves looking downhill.

It’s the same way back but I did some exploring the way.

To say I’m attracted to pools formed in chain from the water running over the sandstone, would be an understatement.

Yes, there are more than one series of pools too.  If your going to hike areas like this take the time to check out the area and see what you might find.

I’ll take you on a hike through Wild Horse Canyon next to the Window in a separate blog post.  You could do one in the morning and the other in the afternoon, but why rush it🤔.

Happy Hiking.