I am splitting up my HAC so that they will load easier. To view the first 11 posts of my HAC, click here - http://www.monstermuleys.info/dcforum/DCForumID58/9.html
We will start this thread off with my first trip down to southern Utah to see what Desert Bighorn Sheep country looks like. My best friend, Ed, drew his Desert Sheep tag after 18 years of putting in for it. We are doing this hunt on our own so we have lots to learn and this trip was our first kick in the pants as to what this hunt will demand from us both physically and mentally.
We drove down Monday afternoon and ended up camping out in the desert on the edge of the park. Here are some pictures of the Henry Mountains and such on the way down.
We got a great campsite and woke up to a beautiful sunrise. It doesn't get much better than this!
It makes you wonder how rock mountains like these could form with so much detail and character in them.
We put our packs on and did some hiking along the rim of the park. Amazing Views!!
Moving along the Burr Trail
The only place to get relief from the sun was the cliffs that cast a shadow as the sun went down. We parked in the wash and fixed our dinner and relaxed. We decided that since it was 20 degrees cooler in the shade, that we would just sleep there in the wash for the night. Now we know that sleeping in a wash bottom is about the dumbest idea there is, especially in the desert but there was absolutely no rain forecasted for the next two days so we felt confident that we would be okay.
When we woke up, we headed over to the Moody's to begin our hike for the day. It looked like it was going to be a beautiful day, except for the 100+ degree temps.
Our breakfast of champions meal that morning was potato/onion/bacon pancakes with grape jam on top and hot chocolate. It actually didn't taste too bad and it gave us a good supply of energy to start the days hiking with.
I decided that my old pack just wasn't going to cut it for week long trips into this red rock country. I brought along a brand new Horn Hunter Full Curl System pack in Predator Camo to start breaking it in. I only used it set up as a Full Curl Combo on these hikes but that big bag will do nicely when I have to put 70-80 pounds of gear on my back. Let the hiking begin!
We quickly came upon a fresh sheep track in the trail. Little did we know how fresh it really was...
These areas of the canyon were very green and held leafy trees which meant that there had to be a good water source around.
After several hours of hiking in the extreme heat, we found some shade and took a nap. When we awoke, I realized that I was down to my last liter of water. We could see the spring seeping on the cliffs up above so we headed up to get water. We didn't have a filtration device but it looked like the water was high enough and tough to get to so I had to take the chance that the cows couldn't get to the water source and contaminate it. It was cold fresh tasting water dripping off the rocks so it took a while to fill up our water bottles.
We decided that we had had enough of the heat for one day and headed back to the truck. We did about 11 miles that day and with the 4 miles from the previous day, we were getting warn out from the heat.
It was frustrating being so close to the truck but still having 2 miles to go in order to get across the huge canyon between us.
As we got closer to the truck, we realized that there was a sheep that walked down the trail after us. That fresh track that we found was from that morning and had we followed it, we would have seen the sheep. Instead, we walked right past it and it later came down the trail and walked on our tracks. It was kind of frustrating but all you can do about it is laugh and hope you see it the next time.
After we got to the truck we decided that two days of this heat was enough for our first trip plus there were possible thunderstorms in the area so we headed out of the desert. After a delicious meal in Boulder, we headed up the mountain and made camp. The next day we drove over the mountain, up through Fishlake and home. It was an educational and eventful trip that had us both evaluating our gear and our bodies.