Welcome to another installment of our wacky desert adventures.
Sunday July18th, 2005 ................................First Edition / Volume Three / Part One / Page 2.............................Click here to go to bottom of page

So after a long reckless night of catching up and telling one too many bullshit stories, everyone finally retired, or eventually succumbed to the dreaded liquid 1972 Green Ford Mavericks and Jim Beam whatever drinks, and stumbled off to git'in the sac. Before long, the desert is a buzz with the symphony of snores..

The only thing worst than sand in your nylon sleeping bag when you've got a sunburn and haven't bather in two days, is the sun beating down upon the tent making all the BO and cheesy feet smell ferment making for a wicked cocktail guaranteed to gag a gila monster. Some will attack the day head-on, cracking the first beer or mixing the first bloody mary before the sun rises much in the pristine

sky. While others will hover over the coleman stove hoping there is at least one more cup of very thick coffee, I crawl towards the water jugs in search of the coldest thing I can in hopes of quickly clearing the cobwebs from my parched brain. After a couple of Jimmy Dean sausage muffin breakfast sandwiches, compliments of Brian, everyone readies for a full day out on the trails of southern Utah. Leaving camp would normally be a simple

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affair, but with trucks spread out for nearly one hundred yards, we're damn near the cattle guard before the rest catch up. Just like the amazing race, when anyone stops for a spell, everyone has a chance to catch up. So sorry to the truck at the rear as they seem to always arrive just as the rest are ready to roll!.
The slow and treacherous decline down the Spring Canyon Trail Photo: ©2005 Mark Schneller

Down the road with no particular place to go, we wander an old friend of a road, the Blue-Balls Trail headed Stopping every couple of miles to many may seem like you'd never get very far but it's not the quantity, it's the quality of the off-road experience. We bounce along sometimes so hard that my neck gets sore from fighting the side to side motion of the crawling over seemingly endless patches of undulating white sandstone, to my head and the bruise I'm nursing from banging it during a moment of inattention. I've often seen professional rally racing on the tele where the navigator calls off to the driver the turn ahead with the exact distance to the next turn. Here I feel like I should play the same role for Brian but he deftly dodges and serpentines so well on his own, I'm left with little to do but hang on. It's a great ride.

During the day we visited the Spring Canyon area. This narrow, steep and rocky trail winds from the rim of the canyon to the Green River bottom in a series of cliff-hugging switchbacks that deliver the brave to the bottom of the canyon at least 1200 feet below. The reward at the bottom is a small spot of shade against a cut bank near the only water we've seen in days ,the Spring Canyon 'crick'. Traveling farther down the road we come to a wide spot on a delta where the crick empties into the grand Green River.

Jeff and Greg pull up to get a view of Spring Canyon. Photos: ©2005 Gary McKellar
Yours truly sits Buddha-like while contemplating my one-ness with the desert. Photo: ©2005 Mark Schneller
Greg navigating one of the 'gaps' along the Spring Canyon Trail. Photo: ©2005 Gary McKellar
The rest of our evening after our

returning to Frog Hollow, was spent pretty much like so many other nights out here under the stars. An endless parade from the pile to the fire with loads of the dried out Juniper wood and bowling pins. Maple bowling pins mind you. Not these el cheapo plastic look alike's, these are the real thing and they burn for hours!

On our fourth day in the desert was plagued with mechanical trouble of a most mysterious kind. Brian's Landcruiser seemed to be possessed by demons reaffirming it's given name; 'Antichrist' given to' er years ago after seeing the film "The Gods Must Be Crazy". Surely this is not a self fulfilling prophecy, calling it that and then it becomes possessed? Impromptu repair sessions in the sand and even a quick look while stopped for ice at the local gas station never proved helpful. Even with the master mechanics Brian and Junior on the case, the beast would not run right no matter who's wrench was.

applied. No doubt a good dinner and a few drinks will help jog the 'ol mental Chilton Manual.

Now I have eaten lots of stuff in the desert before, and after a long day of eating sand and pulling you shorts outta yer crack, I have never tasted better food that what Brad and Dick whooped up for dinner the fourth

Another beautiful bloom at the Needles. Photo: ©2005 Mark Schneller
Amazingly bright red Indian Paintbrush blooming in Southern Utah. Photo: ©2005 Mark Schneller

night. Desert Chciken was the dish and no bones to be found. Plump breasts (that'll show up on a Google search eh?), meaty thighs and just the right spices and natural jucies. My mouth's watering right now as I write this! Kudos boys for a fine recipe. After dinner, once again the tunes get cranked, the chairs arrianged. Fire is the lifeblood of any camping trip. I sometimes wonder what it must have been like when the Indians were here around their fires

Say Wiskeyyyyyyy!. Photo:©2005 Gary McKellar

800 years ago. One thing is for sure, they certainly saw the same amazing sky at night complete with this unfettered view of the Milky Way from horizon to horizon. Granted they didn't have The Doors or Neil Young to listen too or a Budwiser to sip on but they must no doubt have found their own ways of having a good time. Can you say pass the Peyote Buttons?

To be continued...

The bloody damn absolute best part of the day in the desert. Alfy, Mark and Greg watching wood burn. Photo:©2005 Gary McKellar
Gary's Desert Hell 05 Photo Gallery
Page design and photos: ©2005 Steven B. Heiner / All Rights Reserved
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