Wednesday, October 3, 2012

more black marks agin THE author

On Hiking/Oh No... THE AUTHOR
Michael R. Kelsey, as we all know, is the best at finding the most remote hikes. He is best at not much else. This time it is the "old Indian trail" trick. I have nothing against old Indian trails for accessing scenic sites. But I have to be able to find it, and I am not a bird or even a dexterous ancient Pueblo Indian.
Map 34 in his Paria River hiking thing... OOps, have to refer to Map 31 and maybe Map 30 for this Wrather Arch/Canyon via an old Indian route which is immediate?? to the Northern Rim Overlook. No one has hiked here and it is not cairned as THE author hopes. Don't blame him. This whole thing, after a 17 mile off-highway drive which will burden your 4x4, is a route and not a trail. I admit that a route is impossible to find, especially when north is about 2 o'clock on a terrible map. So there is not a cairn and there is not a map. Other than that a good hiking chapter. In all fairness, one of the other maps has the north at 8 o'clock, much better.
But we are used to all of this nonsense with Kelsey. So we persevered, knowing that we were for sure in for some kind of hike anyway. CV exercise will always be provided in this fellow's books. CV, frustration, cussing, confusion, tiredness from not getting there.
Of course we did fine finding the "floating" sand dune. It's as big as the moon.
We eventually found the arch overlook from the north rim of the Paria by matching his photo to our perspective. We could not be sure of the chute down to the river. This is partly because of unfriendly description (it's adjacent) and partly because of no route marked. I guess no one uses this down route except Kelsey and Puebloans. The arch view is stinky at the overlook and I'm sure better in Wrather Canyon. That's why we wanted to get to the bottom. And there is rock art down there too. Us 60-year-olds can't just dive down any crack when we cannot see the route! There is a nice picture of the "route" from the opposite rim. A picture from the top would have helped from the top. You know, from the described hike vantage point.
No complaint about the rim views between the floating dune and the arch but the West Clark Bench (Water Pockets, Cobra Arch, Buckskin) is better than this East Clark Bench. We floundered around for six hours and took the long hill up to our Jeep.
More stuff in this book not worth the trouble: The "Hidden Panel" petroglyphs near the White House trailhead is not worth getting wet for. Ditto the panel on the right a couple miles downstream from the WHTH (that is how MK would do it) near the telephone wires; can barely see them for erosion. Thanks Mike.
Now we will try to find Moki House and the "cowboy trail" down to Hackberry Canyon and Watson Cabin and Pollock Arch. Fat chance but we'll get in some floundering. The "old cowboy trail" trick. At least Yellow and Castle Rocks are nearby and very scenic. Win some lose some with THIS author.


  1. River hiking thing is another awesome adventures here in Kanab, Utah.

    Things to do in Kanab

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