Saturday, August 3, 2013

I'll follow you into the muck...of Middle Echo

Don't even try and tell me you wouldn't follow that hunk of hubs into a mucky canyon. Farmers tan and all.

The hike up took us a little longer than we had anticipated, but we kind of mosied so it was our own fault, really. As soon as we entered the middle section of Echo canyon, we suited up and waded through the first pool. Russ was several yards ahead of me, when he stopped dead in his tracks and whispered for me to keep walking, but to be quiet. 

Knowing that a mountain lion was spotted at the base of Spry canyon (ok, so what if that was on the other side of the park) I thought "oh frick, I'm going to be mauled to death".

Instead,  pleasantly enough, we saw this guy:

After silently gawking at our little buddy for several minutes, we proceeded to a long corridor full of dried mud, pine needles and bark. I blazed ahead, only to be stopped by Russ grabbing my arm. 

"I think there's water under there"


Me: 'no way, its just from the last flash flood, its all dry"

Russ then proceeds to stomp on the nearest patch of muck and we see the whole corridor rise and fall a'la tremors. Fantastic, I think to myself.

"How deep is it?"

We found a large stick to fish around for the bottom with, but never found it. 

Double fantastic.

With the canyon walls being about 4 1/2 feet apart at this point we were able to stem a bit in attempt to avoid the nastiness. 

I, of course, fall and begin the most epic muck battle of my life trying to tread water while simultaneously clearing a solid foot of debris out of my way to swim through. Russell stood, successfully stemming, above me as I frantically doggy paddled my way through the muck and the mire, while he laughed his head off.

After stripping down in a clear pool to get the large bits of barks out of my wetsuit and swimsuit, we continued on our merry way. The longest rap was only 30 feet so we didn't have to fight a long rope through the canyon, which was awesome because almost every rap required us to be swimming while detaching.

It was an awesome day and a great experience to get my trust back in Russell's ability as a canyoneer since his recent near death encounter with the flash flood of the year in Pine creek.

I guess I can write that epic all out next time...