After leaving Canyonlands we drove to Page, Arizona, a booming access point to the Lake Powell/Glen Canyon Recreation Area made from the dam’ed up Colorado River. Page borders part of the 27,000-square-mile Navajo Indian Reservation that’s also in New Mexico and Utah. Arizona does not observe daylight savings time but the Navajo do… so my cell phone was thoroughly confused. G’s eventually changed to AZ time but mine stayed with the Indians.
So we got up superduper early the next morning (me an entire hour early because of the whole time hullaballoo) to go check out the Wire Pass slot canyon. The last 9 miles to the trailhead was on a gravel road that does not see a lot of action. It took us about 40 minutes to drive 9 miles.
Halfway down the road we hit a washout that looked a little precarious to cross. Who in the world would help us if we got stuck?!? There were no people for miles and miles and miles. So G got out to stare at the mud hole, stare at the car, stare at the mud hole, stare at the car (this would become a theme of the day) and we ultimately risked it and came out smooth as butta on the other side. Success!
After a mile on foot we reached the entrance to the canyon… one simple turn and you are suddenly underground in this crevice you would never know existed from up top. We hiked in a little and came to a pretty high drop off made from a giant boulder wedged in the slot. Sure we could jump down… but how would we get back UP?? We stared at the drop. We stared at each other. We stared at the drop. We stared at each other. G jumped, then I jumped and we continued on. I was shaking scared again – jelly legs like my first downhill mountain biking run. But… success!
A little further in we came to a huge puddle with – obviously – no way around because we were galavanting in a maybe 3-foot wide space. We stared at the puddle. We stared at our shoes. We stared at the puddle. We stared at our shoes. So we ditched the shoes and waded through. People pay lots of money for mud skin treatments… success!
Right about then we heard someone coming in from behind us. A lone guy bounces in (how is HE gonna get back up the boulder??) asks us for directions to The Wave (dude you missed a turn back at sagebrush #4), then thanks us and bounces back out. Strange.
We trekked in a little further and came to a much much much larger drop, one we are sure we can’t get back up. We stared ahead into the canyon. We pouted. We stared into the canyon. We pouted. We begrudgingly deducted we had reached the end of our journey… only thru-hikers who don’t have to worry about the return trip could explore more. The canyon ultimately dumps out to another connecting trail after a mile underground. But we needed to go back to the car.
PS. I had to get on G’s shoulders to get back up the boulder drop. Then I had to lean over and essentially pull him up. There wasn’t anything to grip onto. We think climbing ropes must be a necessary accessory for slot canyon blazing.