Since my good friend Angela did such a great job on the blow-by-blow on this hike, it leaves me free to write less. (I know - like anyone ever wants me to write more!
This was my second hike out to the Wave. The first trip was also in early spring (at least early spring in Tucson - it's probably mid-winter in Utah), and had similar weather with cold, blustery mornings, beautiful mid-day and windy afternoons. On that first trip, I was rushed and did not get to spend much time at all exploring the larger area of Coyote Buttes North, even though the landscape called to me with that clarion tone of pure red-rock adventure. Well, I wasn't going to make THAT mistake again!
Problem is, even with a solid 8 hours spent hiking, clamoring, scrambling and sliding, I STILL haven't seen even half of what I want to see! This place is a maze, a wonderland, a playground and a mystery all in one - and I doubt I'll ever get enough of it. Not to mention my dreams of falling asleep under starry skies surrounded by teepees, hoodoos and windswept sandstone walls. Ah, the backpacker in me just can't ever be satisfied with a few daylight hours in such a mystical place. AND on a full moon weekend none the less!
We explored the gulch below the wave in both directions - going upstream until we were blocked by a seemingly minor pouroff that just proved too complicated for a bunch of hens like us, and downstream until we decided that we should head back up before we were blocked from our trailhead (turns out we needn't have worried about that - but these are the lessons you learn after several adventures in a place!). We found dino tracks (which were both awesome and surprisingly tiny at the same time), a number of different Wave-like formations and a sand dune in the middle of a slot canyon. We met a number of fellow adventurers, though never enough to make us feel like we were in a crowd. There was the trio from the midwest, who couldn't keep their jaws shut from the awe of it all. I hope they got as much pleasure from Bryce Canyon! The photographers, who climbed into the oddest spots to find those magical shots, and the blogger who had his female companion filming him taking photos to post on his photo-instructional blog "chasingthelight.com" (no relation to chasing the light fantastic).
Then there were these four crazy girls from Arizona, who wrung out every bit of fun they could from the day before they broke for the parking lot. With the last vestiges of sunlight, we explored the headwaters of the AZT, which was both amazingly developed and painfully remote. We watched a full moon rise twice in under an hour - once on the road next to the "Welcome to Arizona" sign (really - I thought it was too cold to be posing for THAT photo nude, but obviously some young man disagreed), and once over the white sandstone cliffs of the West Clark Bench. You know you're with kindred spirits when you all gasp in unison at that giant white orb split by a beautiful horizon. Quick, ladies, jump out and grab your cameras! Shows like this only happen once a month - but we only get to see them once a lifetime!
Settling back in for a delicious meal of pesto, salad, goat cheese and crackers topped off with red wine and handmade cream puffs, all served up in style in a toasty warm bunkhouse at the Paria Guest Ranch... You wonder how you can force yourself to go back to that other existence that some like to call "the real world" and I like to call an unwelcome distraction from living. But, as long as you keep in mind that all that hard work in front of a computer and hours spent nodding in agreement to things you couldn't care less about just helps you pay for your next trip to wonderland - then you can get through. I promise it can be done!
But - there was still one more day of adventure, at least...