Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Wedge

Friday after school and work, six scouts (deacons) of the Spring Creek 18th ward, plus their leaders, a few fathers (including me) and a few siblings and children of leaders, headed south into Utah's San Rafael Swell. We stopped for KFC in Price (it would be a late, dark arrival at the campsite) then drove south to Cleveland and from there out along one of the many county dirt roads that bisect the area to the Wedge.

The Wedge overlooks the San Rafael River located at the bottom of the Little Grand Canyon. This was my first time up above, but a few years ago in a rare outing for BYU geography faculty we canoed the river below. The trip was organized by Jeff Durrant, who had recently completed his dissertation which looked at the land disputes in the Swell between locals who have long used the land for grazing and mining and now for ATVing and environmentalists who would like to see fewer roads and tracks crisscrossing the land and more restrictions on land use. When we arrived, Scoutmaster Jason Tull had the boys prepare a Dutch oven peach cobbler, but they forgot to put in the eggs which made it pretty soupy. No worries there were still marshmallows to roast followed by a nice scoutmaster minute.  Will and I shared our Walrus tent. It was a very cold night as evidenced by my feet which were cold the whole night and by the thick layer of frost on the tent in the morning. Will did not want to miss out on the early morning hike planned by the scouts so he was the first one up and at 'em at 7:00. I followed him out not wanting him to go exploring alone.

The two of us got the fire started by blowing on the coals from the evening before. Soon a few others were up and then off five of the boys went to explore.

When we drove in it was too dark to see this canyon. Even in the pre-sunrise light it was very impressive. We camped about 30 yards from the edge. Good thing there were no accounts of sleep walking.  

Down again along a more difficult descent (close your eyes Marie).


(l to r) Will Emmett, Jackson Chambers, Joel Emmett, Trenton Ash, Kaden Ash. 

The San Rafael River and yellow cottonwoods below.

Preparing Scout McMuffins:  English Muffins, fried egg, bacon and cheese.

The whole group. Recently-in-the-news Goblin Valley is on the southern edge of the San Rafael Swell. None of the leaders in this group felt so inclined to reconfigure Mother Nature like the bozo scoutmasters from a few weeks ago who toppled a hoodoo in Goblin Valley.

Three Emmetts. Happy to be out and about.

Scoutmaster Quinn Ash's truck.  I am always amazed at how lightly outfitted I am (no truck, no grills, no Dutch ovens, no camo, etc) when compared with the other scout/young men leaders.

We left a little earlier (missing the petroglyphs) than the others to get Joel home for his afternoon soccer game. Here is the view looking southeastward over the San Rafael Swell. It is a lot more impressive close up.

It was Joel's team's last game of the fall season. They won 5-0 with the help of Joel's two goals--amazing given the fact that he got little sleep and spent the morning hiking.

Marie took these photos of the Halloween Parade at school on Thursday. Can you find Will?

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