At last, the long awaited and anticipated Paria adventure that Wendy planned got rolling. We drove up Wednesday afternoon, had our split 1/2 Navajo tacos (still almost too much) with a birthday ice-cream celebration for Sirena's birthday at Cameron, and finally arriving at Paria Guest Ranch Bunkhouse. I think there are about 12 bunkbeds available including a couple triple deckers so we each had our own area as there were no other guests. We considered our quarters to be the Ritz Carlton of camping.
The next morning we headed to the WirePass TH which was just a hop, skip and jump from the Ranch. We started our hike to THE Wave with a somewhat chilly temperature and under crisp blue skies. Wendy had been here before so she knew the way. We encountered a small layer of ground snow in a very shaded area but for the rest of the hike, the route was clear... and what an incredible and beautiful and breathtaking route it was. When you read and see photos it is about THE Wave but there's SO MUCH MORE
. The great thing is that we got to enjoy it all at a very leisurely pace.
We got to wander off in different directions and explore various areas along the way. Wendy even climbed to the top of a small hill, we hiked up a grand staircase and around and thru various hills and rock formations. There was also scattered shallow water pools here and there. This was the type of hike where you would turn complete circles several times trying to take it all in. Toward the open space in the landscape you could almost always see Steamboat Rock along with a scattering of teepee-shaped hills (sometimes referred to as "hooters"
by Sirena). Little did we know the fantastic scenery would continue to get even better throughout our most fabulous day.
After crossing the dry and sandy drainage, we had to climb a slightly steep but short sandy hill to finally arrive at THE Wave at 12:35 (started at 10). It's so surreal to be there. We had a quick lunch that included chocolates Sarah brought. There were a few hikers who were around and she would say, "Welcome to THE Wave, would you like a chocolate."
(She didn't want to carry the chocolates back). In spite of the extreme gusts of wind we would experience from time to time we continued winding through this area as well as climbing to the next level to what Sirena dubbed "the brains" (correction, "Brain Domes". I consider ourselves fortunate that we got to spend as much time (two hours) as we did leaving at 2:30.
Our next goal, after we literally bid adieu
to THE Wave with a stadium wave of four people, was the Dinosaur tracks. Sirena had the location on her GPS so we crossed the wash and headed west. We read the description a couple times along the way to better decipher where the tracks might be and since they weren't big, it wasn't going to be easy. We persisted and kept moving our way west and up the side to where the mountainside shoots straight up. Sarah found them
at 3:05PM. There were quite a few I thought and we got a couple photos.
The last foray of the day would be in pursuit of The Wave2. We started heading southwest but were cliffed out so we had to make our way back a bit to an area we could climb down from safely. Once we were there we headed west on these awesome sand dunes where once again, the wind gusts were pretty ferocious. We felt like Laurence of Arabians while we progressed on the sand to a very narrow slot only to be turned around by a pourover. We climbed as far as we could go but the angle to get up and over was just a bit much for us. Alas we turned around
and headed back on the sand around 3:50PM.
We decided to stay in the wash for awhile rather than take the main route back. It was beautiful through here as well. Based on Sirena's GPS reading, she would have us come up and out of the wash (around 4:30) to head to the main route at a certain point. She nailed it too
as we didn't have to do any backtracking to get us back to that route in about 15 minutes. I was duly impressed.
After we came down the tallest hill into the wash, we hiked it all the way back to the TH. I wasn't paying attention and remarked to Sarah that I couldn't remember hiking in the wash that long and not more than 5 minutes later we were coming out of the wash toward the TH with the regular trail at the other side of it. We started at 10 and were done at 5:30; what should we do now as there was still daylight? So Sirena suggested we head down to the Stateline TH and hike a tad of the AZTrail from UT to AZ. After all, we'd been crisscrossing these borders several times already today.
We hiked up the most beautifully constructed pathway to the AZ border and then over the hill a bit to where Sirena wanted to show us this totally cool rock with a framed window. On the way back down on the Utah side we were startled to see in the distance what we thot was a naked person running over to the State sign and a flash from a camera. This person did this 2 times and it was cold.
And if you thot our day was through, you would be wrong. On our drive back we saw 5 stag deer climb up the side of a hill. I was having trouble with my camera but did manage to get a picture. It was such a sight to see these stag deer out on the night. And to finish off this magnificent day, we rounded a corner only to see the full moon rising above a mountain.
I am hoping Wendy got some decent photos as my camera was tired after taking 8 gigs of pics and movies and wasn't cooperating. However, I did get a bit of a movie of it.
All I can say is, if someone says they have a permit during the week for this place and you have to work, take the days off. It is so worth it. We did see probably 10-12 other hikers here and there but that's it. The combo of us four girls worked great for this hike as Wendy knew the way, Sirena had great GPS skills, Sarah was always willing to do a little scouting for us and me, well, you know what I did
Here are your videos:
To THE Wave - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHHUpmSao4U
THE Wave, Dinosaur tracks and pursuit of Wave2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kY_PkCOn5O8
Final pursuit of Wave2, back thru the wash, the main trail, Stateside TH walk and the bad moon rising, well for us the good moon rising - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kY_PkCOn5O8