Part 11: White Rim Trail Part C


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The Trip

After lunch, we continued west on the White Rim Trail toward our camp at "Candlestick".  So far, the trail had been rough, but easy in that the trail was wide and not exposed (near cliff edges).  This would change soon.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

After lunch, we started encountering slickrock domes.

The trail continued on the northern edge of the side canyons giving us a view of the numerous totem pole structures in the valley below.

The trail skirted huge sandstone cliffs and ended in a slickrock mesa that dropped off into the lower canyon.

Our photo stop gave us a clear view of the LaSal range to the east.  The effect of the harder caprock is clear from the many totem pole structures.

Every side canyon had steep walls and the erosion had spawned totem poles.

Further to the west, the nature of the cliffs changed as the upper strata fell away.

The hard caprock overlying softer strata produced many curious formations.  This one is sufficiently unique that I am sure it has a name, but I do not know it.

Note the hook shape on the hoodoo to the right of center.  The softer strata below has eroded and the caprock failed leaving a sharp edge.

Oh my!  We did not have the presence of mind to shoot a photo of this grade from the bottom of the trail, but it was very steep and very narrow.  And, as a bonus, it was off camber leaning to the cliff side.  Excellent, in a sphincter-tightening way.  We had to stop and take several deep breaths when we cleared the grade.  This section is the "Murphy Hogback".  Oh, take note that what goes up must come down.

On the other side of the hogback we were confronted with another grade that was worse than the east side.  Above, we arrived just as a pickup was clearing the crest of the grade.  It was good that we met him here, because if we met him on the tight portion of the grade it would have been ugly.  This fellow was the only oncoming vehicle that we met in 3 days on the trail and we met him at the worst possible point.  I assume that Murphy's Law prevails on Murphy Hogback.

The view looking generally west from the hogback.  Our camp at "Candlestick" is in the distance below the monolith.  But to get there, we have to descend the hogback.

The cliff next to the road is very steep and there were overhangs that were in danger of impacting our cab/cabin.  The good news is that the camber of the road was toward the inside.  Above, I clear one of the rocks with only inches to spare.

The grade was steep and required me to use low-low gear and the exhaust brake to keep my speed under control.

Once the initial ledges were cleared, it was not much of a problem (except the very tight switchbacks that required multi-point turns).

This switchback was not a problem.

From Kathleen's position spotting me, she could see the Green River in the distance, but thought it was the Colorado.

Further down the grade we encountered another set of overhanging ledges on a narrow section of the trail.  Next to a steep drop-off, of course.

This overhang had plenty of clearance, but it looked nasty.

I did scrape my antenna, but it was not that close overall.

The western flanks of the hogback were no problem and provided a nice view of the monolith close to our assigned campsite for the night.

Typical of this section of the White Rim Trail, the path skirted the headwalls of the side canyons.  This side canyon is both deep and steep -- overhanging in fact.

Above is the headwall of the side canyon at Candlestick Camp about 25 meters from our campsite.  No sleepwalking allowed!

We chose to set up on the slick rock so that our feet did not get muddy during our outside showers.  The monolith in the distance provided an interesting background.

I walked to the lip of the side canyon and was surprised that we could see the Green River.  I did not think we were that "close" (300 foot vertical offset, minimum and a mile horizontal).

The Murphy Hogback totally got my attention, both going up and going down.  As we would soon learn, it was not that hard or that tight.  Tomorrow the exit section of the trail will provide a definition of both terms.

The afternoon wind was both a boon and a bane.  It was a bane in that it was blowing sand in your face, but a boon in that it helped keep the biting gnats at bay.  But, the gnats are relentless and they would find you during any interval when the wind calmed.  For some reason, they home-in on ear canals and eyes.

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