Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Water Canyon

Deep in Polygamist country, there is a lovely canyon called, you guessed it, Water Canyon. Have I mentioned before that I get uncomfortable when in one of the polygamist towns? I mean, it isn't just that I absolutely don't believe in their lifestyle or their less than favorable behaviors, but I actually, truly, .just don't like being in their cities. As in, I wouldn't stop in Colorado City or Hilldale on my own, ever, for any reason. Many of the homes are left unfinished or their exteriors are plywood. Then there are the ridiculously high fences and the feeling that secrets are hiding behind every one of them. But for whatever reason, I have ended up there a handful of times with Jon--mostly to hike around Water Canyon or to check out nearby petroglyph walls--but one time we actually stopped by their dairy and bought a big hunk of cheese and some fresh milk (which I admit was tasty). I'll also say here that when the polygamists come into town to buy stuff from Wal-mart or Costco I don't really feel that weird around the actual people then. It doesn't make sense, but there you have it.

Anyway, Jon got me to go with him to Water Canyon, again while Tim and Genevieve were in town. We all hiked up and then Jon and Tim did the canyoneering for all of us while Genevieve and I hiked back. That's not normally an option on our canyoneering adventures because its either a one-way hike through or if you are going through the canyon, you are fully committed to that and distance yourself from the hiking trails. But the way Water Canyon runs parallel to the trail for the most part, if you choose to canyoneer down through it, there are a few different spots where you can climb out of the canyon with ease, jump back on the trail, skip a rappel or two, and then keep going. That's what our group was planning on doing.

And I was all fine and good with that until we got there and I realized that our boys would be leaving us. Alone. On polygamist land.

As always, click on the the images to see them bigger: 

The big waterfall that I didn't have to rappel through.

Did I mention that this was snow melt water that they were hiking through? It was really, really cold. The guys were wearing wetsuits and were still shivering up a storm. I am so glad that Genevieve and I took our sideline vantage point. We were cold enough when we stood in the shade with the wind blowing through the canyon (and we were dry).

 Jon on rope, Tim watching. 

 Tim's turn. 

While we were standing there shivering and waiting, this odd couple that we'd passed at least five times before starts coming down the trail (we're still not sure how they passed us...) and they start asking us about our boys, why we aren't canyoneering with them, why they are wearing wet suits, etc. I felt like they were expecting us to turn into canyon tour guides and explain to them how the canyon formed and all of the forms of recreation that could be had there. And oh, yea, the guy was standing thisclose to me while I was really close to a cliff edge and he was leaning around me to get pictures of Tim and Jon. Weird, I tell you. 

Another shot of the waterfall and part of the slot canyon that they had to get through. 

The tight squeeze through the slot.

At this point we lost sight of the boys, so Genevieve and I started to hike on to find another spot where we could see them. We stopped for a minute to drink some water when we heard shuffling feet and huffing behind us. We turned around quickly to find that Jon and Tim had scampered up to pass another group. So we all hiked on together to their next rappel:   

 The second waterfall that they chose to do.

 Genevieve waiting on Tim.

The awkward couple found us again at this point. The guy once again cornered on a ledge and started taking pictures while standing right next to me. They also asked us if the trail went up about five times in the five minutes they hung around, and my response was always, "Yes." It didn't occur to me until the last time they asked me that perhaps they were trying figure out directions to get back to their car, which was most definitely down trail. By then they were already heading back up the hill, so I didn't bother yelling to clarify what they wanted. 

Jon going down the last waterfall


 Water in Water Canyon

Forty minutes after the last time that I told the awkward couple to keep going uphill, we spotted them coming down the trail after us, right as we had gotten to our car. They looked bewildered and tired, so I'm guessing that they had been trying to get back to their car when they were questioning me last. Oops. 
Genevieve and I quickly jumped into our vehicle to avoid any further conversation with them. After the guys were all changed out of their wetsuits and back in the car, they shared their stories of the awkward couple-- how they stood too close and asked lame questions like, "Is this the way the trail goes?" Jon told me not to feel bad if I mislead them by telling them to keep going up by saying, "If they can't tell which way they're supposed to go, they shouldn't even be out on a trail like this." And this trail was pretty obvious. It doesn't go up and down a lot-- its pretty much either you go up canyon or down canyon.
And, oh yes-- this was the other thing we saw in the parking area:

A completely unnecessary parking job.
And no, that's not a Suburu. It is a Mercury Tracer. 

The polygamists are sitting on some pretty land, I'll give them that. 

In the end, while Genevieve and I saw a few different polygamists while we were on our own, the creepiest people in the canyon weren't of the polygamist persuasion. Who would have guessed?
Fun times.

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