Well all my canyoneering friends had already left for the weekend, so I was left deciding which canyon in the area I wanted to do, that I hadn't recently done, and I could safely do solo. Well I'd done all the other WCC technical canyons already this summer, a solo run thru Horsetank would be testing my luck, but I hadn't done this 'easy' Meadow Canyon since last summer.
I had bad luck with my car being vandalized last summer when I did this canyon, so I parked along the 260 in another spot that's more visible to other drivers. Or maybe I should just hide in the bushes and shoot at anyone that looks at my car the wrong way...
From along the highway, with a late start I huffed it in to the power lines near where they cross over upper Meadow Canyon and dropped in at that cow tank and headed down canyon from there. This definitely isn't the most interesting or scenic canyon in the area but it's plenty lush and does challenge your patience with loads of rock hopping and an occasional down climb. That late night caught up with me and I found a nice rock to take a half hour nap on (one of the perks of solo hiking).
Eventually the canyon narrows some and I hit that cool first 80ft rappel, with the 2nd 45ft about a half hour further down canyon. Some more rock hopping, watching the sky & noticing some big puffy clouds slowly building, reached that 80ft sloping rappel, and ate a light lunch. Of course I'm doing that as a rappel because I have no reason to show off and if I try down climbing it & slip and break my legs it'll be at least a day before someone comes for me.
That cool rappel is followed shortly by another 20ft drop before you go thru those sweet bouldery narrows just before the confluence with WCC. Now it rained on about here last time I did this canyon last summer, so it kinna funny when it started sprinkling at the confluence. I made the slippery creek hike to the amazingly beautiful Hanging Gardens and probably snapped some of my best photos yet of it since the sun was being block by the dark monsoon clouds. I didn't stay as long as I'd like since it was raining and the loud thunder spooked me a bit.
After about a half hour more of rock hopping upstream, while getting sporadically dumped on, I hit the first of many long swimmers before reaching the super sweet White Box. Thankfully it was a warm day, so that even without a wetsuit, in the middle of a monsoon storm, while soaking wet I was still able to stay plenty warm. That rope swing in White Box is still and I of course had to do a couple swings on it before continuing.
Now doing swimmers in a narrow canyon in the middle of a monsoon might not be the safest thing to be doing, but at least I was near the exit trail and I have work tomorrow... The exit route was a steep as ever and soaking wet gear on a muddy trail didn't help either.
Up on the rim, I made the long road walk to the power lines, south in between them as their buzzing kept me company, and then broke off to follow my GPS back to my car safely along the highway.
Such a beautiful section of WCC that I have to visit at least once a summer, but you certainly have to work for no matter how you approach it.