The Mentor (part 1)

Sunrise in Escalante

I awoke early, before the sun had risen to greet us.  I gathered my camera and decided to take a short hike to the cliffs edge.  Sat down and waited for the sunrise… I’ve been told the sunrise in the desert is amazing, and as you can see, it did not disappoint.  It’s an awesome feeling, watching the sunrise alone, like rebirth.  A time to recollect on life, and become part of your surrounding.  In the moment, if your lucky, you can experience a realization.

Lower Calf Creek Falls

I kept the sunrise for myself, though back at camp, we talked about the terrible nights sleep we all had.  The wind was blowing so hard, we must have gotten at least an inch of sand in every tent.  Not to mention the slapping noise of the tents shaking in the wind all night. Though the camping is free down Spencer Flat Road, I highly recommend a trailer.  You will receive a much better nights sleep, and no sand inside everything.  We decided to hike the upper and lower calf creek falls the first afternoon.  And thought the lower falls are much more majestic, they are also waaaay more crowded and the hike is longer.  The upper falls is an easy approach to the falls, all down hill, and they have the sweetest swimming hole above the falls with a 15′ drop into the pool.  These were the first real hikes I had ever taken my two boys on with me.  While the two of them did well, my friend Jeremy struggled to make it back out of the deep canyon wash that is the upper falls slick rock.  But give the kid some credit, he was in the process of quitting smoking… And was successful.

My boys & I swimming below Lower Falls

The water in pool below the falls is as clear as glass, but as cold as a deep freeze beer cooler.  If you can make the swim out under the falls, with the temps, its refreshing. Never the less, it’s an absolute must to at least take a dip… After all, you my never be there again.

Caelan conquered a Mini Arch in Devil’s Garden… YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!

A fun adventure for the kids is Devil’s Garden.  It’s a picnic area, filled with natural spires, arches, hoo doos, and domes.  It covers only about 200 acres of ground, but definitely a fun adventure for kids.  It’s right off Hole-in-the-Rock road.  And if you continue down Hole-in-the Rock, it will take you to a passage in the rock, which you can pass over to Lake Powell.

It’s half a peace sign

After our first visit to Escalante, we decided to finish the trip by viewing Bryce canyon.  It may be the single most unique place you will ever see. Thousands of Spires rise up from the ground forming giants sandstone people created by nature.  Millions of years of formation, this entire area of Utah is a constant reminder of our states greatness.  I can’t think of anyone better than my two boys to share this with.

Bryce Canyon Overlook from Rainbow Point

Although we didn’t hike in Bryce Canyon, I will return to make the entire hike the Under the Rim trail.  As with many of the places I’ve seen in my short time, I found myself wondering, “How does something like this happen?”  Only one of the millions of creations upon this great planet, I also realize, there is still so much left to see and do.  And if it takes everyday for the rest of my life, I will experience via imagination.

Escalante Wild Flower

Growing up, I never thought I’d be a father.  And truthfully, I didn’t really ever want kids.  I couldn’t imagine bring a child into this world, and I could barely take care of myself.  But now, having been a father for over 14 years, having met and loved my children, I would never change anything I have done.  They are my soul mates, my real adventure partners, truly my hero’s…  And they are the two beings that I love sharing my passion I’ve found for life with them.  It was through their eyes that I created that passion.

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