Part 5: GSENM: Early Weed Bench to Boulder, UT


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The Trip

We spent the night at Early Weed Bench overlook.  The wind was calm and it was a good night.  Next morning, we broke camp and headed to Hole in the Rock to see the work of the early Mormon pioneers.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

From our camp site, we had a commanding view of Straight Cliffs that are about 50 miles long.

The wind erosion patterns in the rock show the bedding of the original sandstone.

We left Early Weed Bench for the main road to Hole in the Rock.  It was slow going as several vehicles sustained some damage the previous day.

The dirt road to Hole in the Rock passed a number of imposing rock structures.  Note the alcoves at the base of the mountain.

Along the scree slopes of the mesa were several nice hoodoos.

The sign tells the story.  The Hole in the Rock expedition is a remarkable story of perseverance in the late 1800s.

As we got closer to Hole in the Rock the road started ascending the slickrock.

Rob and Kathleen check out the slot blasted by the pioneers to build a path to the river below.  Wagons were lowered down this slot to support the expedition to the San Juan river region of Utah.

Note the dates and names carved into the rock walls.  Also note the drill hole and blast marks from the original black powder charges.

Lake Powell is visible in the distance through the slot canyon.

At the top of the slot I spotted this chuckawalla lizard.

There were a number of signs that were posted by the Utah Pioneers Association.

This is Hole in the Rock arch.

Hole in the Rock arch is visible to the left of center on the skyline of the mesa.

One of the many interesting formations we passed on the Hole in the Rock trail.

This sandstone monolith had interesting alcoves as well as an anatomically suggestive formation on its anterior wall.

We passed this fellow at Hole in the Rock.  In fact, Chris took his parking spot.  We saw some red marks on one of the cliff walls but did not think anything about it.  It seems he rolled his vehicle but still drove it the 75 miles to the paved highway where a sheriff met him.

We stopped at an overlook that provided a great view of the Escalante region.

Utah highway 12 is carved through the slickrock and was built by the CCC.

The Escalante region consists of huge sandstone formations and slickrock canyons that run for about a hundred miles.

I got a photo of the trucks at the overlook en-route to our evening camp site.

The Hole in the Rock site is a must-visit if you are in the area.  But, beware: the road is long and rough in places.  Traveling too fast can result in loss of control, just like the young fellow that rolled his car.  The wind in this area can be strong and dust storms are common.

The story of the Hole in the Rock expedition is too long to be re-told here, but a simple web search will give you all the remarkable details.

Next, toward Boulder, UT and then points unknown.  We'll decide after we get rolling.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2013, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.