interesting day... hiked with a friend up this canyon, expecting them to find the same sense of discovery and pleasure as I felt on my first hike, instead, they found the first couple of miles nearly boring... sort of tedious. They wanted the canyon to open up and give them some vista views. All she ever hikes are peaks... never been backpacking, and really just likes to charge to the top... snap a picture, maybe drink a bottle of champagne, and charge down.
So, I was thinking about renaming this bottom portion the "whine" drainage. But, as we got into ever more challenging waterfall climbs, and the views finally did open up of the distant white sands, she began to get into the whole, challenge/reward aspect... and by the time we scored the amphitheatre, her entire attitude had shifted. We added on the climb to the ridge above the Mesa, then descended the Mesa, and out the Goat Springs trail, and she not only was totally turned around about the span of the hike for the day, but since the views from the Mesa allowed her to look back up and into the canyon we'd just hiked, she found the balance of canyon, ridge, Mesa, trail and off trail to be just the right mix for the day.
I think so...
now, if I could just get an accurate feel for just who this hike is well suited for... I don't want any more whiners up in there... it is too easy for climbers, and possibly too hard for trail hikers... but for someone liking a touch more challenge than is to be found on the trail, it is great.
good day out
Note: 35 pound weighted pack... worked great. food for the eight hours: no breakfast, no drink... four hours in drank a quart and ate an apple, banana, tangerine... energy level still high at end of hike.