Day 1: Friday March 13th
This was a very lazy day to start off. I was up late the night before in anticipation of the trip. So I slept in until 11:30 AM then I was off after loading up. My first stop was to pick up Ryan. The next was to beat rush hour traffic and head down to Devon's house and pick him up. Our next step was to pick up the groceries for the entire trip. This was well thought out but still took quite a while to go to two different stores and get all of the food we would need for our more than week long adventure. Once we had got all the groceries we headed to my grandfathers house. We arrived shortly before the other car got there; then once everyone got there we repacked everything and got the cooler squared away for the long drive to Utah. Then we settled in with a fire at my grandfather house while we waited for Dani's dad to pick her up and then for Tom to get dropped off. Then once those things happened we decided to take off around midnight.
Day 2: Saturday March 14th
Day two really began when we made our first pit stop in Grand Junction for food and fuel. Then we had a interesting experience watching a man do what appeared to be a drug or money drop in the Del Taco by the Walmart. After he wandered off we lit up the stoves to have some coffee in the Walmart parking lot at 3:30 AM Then we began our very bland dark drive to Torrey Utah. Quick stop for gas then we were off to Escalante. Then we arrived around 10:30 AM at the Ranger station in Escalante to get better maps and pooh bags for our extended back country trip. Of course the ranger seemed a little skeptical that we would actually be able to do what we said we were going to do. Just the last of doubters that advised us otherwise. We were then on our way to Hole-In-The-Rock Road. This road was much easier than the online reports had made it out to be. We made record time down the road. Then we were at first relieved to be at the top of Hole-In-The-Rock. Boy would that change quickly once we began to trek our gear down hole in the rock. This was a very long day in which we took Four round trips up and down the most brutal "trail" I have ever done in my life with half of each round trip being loaded down with as much gear as we could carry. By then end of the day we had all been nearly broken both physically and mentally many times each. We were all dehydrated and worn down till we had almost almost nothing left. Then came our bickering and bitching in camp at everyone more or less venting our frustrations and underestimations of the trip as a whole so far. Then came the realization for us to begin our journey we must take at least 2 or three more trip the next morning to get all of our gear down. Then we put together a fire and went to bed very quickly after night had fallen.
Day 3: Sunday March 15th
Even after not sleeping for almost 2 days I didn't sleep much for hope of how well this day may go would set the tone for how the rest of this trip would go. I woke up up around 6 AM and made my way to the shore to check the progress of the water filter. The day went slightly down hill from there as we hiked up to the truck for breakfast and once at the top exhausted and dripping with sweat realized I left both of my keys down at our campsite. This was yet another blow to the morale at this point and this was on me. This left us at the top with no choice but to descend yet again, but to not make it a wasted trip Devon and I grabbed my kayak loaded it with gear and made the trip down to get the keys. Once there I put my kayak in the water to get to camp quicker than the hike around. This was the moment I knew I had made the right decision to embark on this trip and had planned successfully for it. Once back to the shore with the keys Devon and I set to patching the raft that had been damaged on the brutal decent to the water the day prior. We then climber back up and cooked a huge banquet of food more than we could eat which was another much needed morale boost. Then after some waiting for Luke to return we began out last decent with vital gear for the trip. Once at the bottom we were all once again exhausted and decided to take a break and lick some new and old wounds everyone seemed to have at this point. We chilled out at the waters edge for awhile until we began to hear Luke yell out for us. This yet again rallied us for one more trip to the vehicles to grab a few essentials and some luxury items. Then once we returned to the bottom we packed up and pushed off for what would become an epic week of adventures. We then proceeded to paddle 3.5 five miles towards the mouth of the Escalante River Arm of Lake Powell. We set up camp and got a fire going and cooked dinner and swapped our stories of struggle and the push through them from Hole-in-the-Rock. Then it was time to call it a day and enjoy the awe inspiring view of the stars as everyone drifted off to bed.
Day 4: Monday March 16th
Up before sunrise I got out of my bag to enjoy the views of the lake in the morning light. Then I proceeded to kickback and wait for everyone else to get up and watch the sunrise on the rim of the lake. Then once everyone one was up and ready we had a magnificent breakfast in the canyon. Then came our clean up of breakfast which all good until Ryan came to admit he had dropped the coffee filter in about 12 feet of water. This proceeded to be another one of those memorable moments because of what happened and where it happened over the course of the expedition. Then we were off to finally reach the Escalante Arm after all the months of planning and hours of adventuring it took to get there. It was a great moment to see the buoy with Escalante inscribed on it. We then were truly there and had arrived in the locale we had planned for. This was just some of the most amazing terrain I had ever seen. After several hours of taking in the sites and making our way up the arm we came to Davis Gulch where at the mouth we had thought we had scouted out a great campsite. Though we got out of the boat by rock climbing we had hope the spot would work for us. Though we had greatly miss judged the scope and scale of the terrain we were about to explore. What we thought would be a sandy area the size of a football field 20 feet above water level was a massive dessert plateau that must have been the size of 10 or 12 football fields. We compared it to ants on an ant farm as opposed to something reasonably sized this was exacerbated by how low the water was. So we began our first barefoot exploration of the trip and it was so vast dn difficult to reach we decided to press on to find another more suitable spot for us to make camp. This may have been the best decision we have ever made on a trip I have lead. As this lead us to the island nearby the mouth of Davis Gulch that had been even more expose by the low water levels. This became possibly the coolest campsite I have ever set up. It was great we had great views and almost no one else around for hundreds of miles though we did encounter one house boat in this area we still saw virtually no one else the entire time. The campsite was fun and interesting to set up. Then we settled in for snacks as we waited for our dinner to be put together; which was comprised of toast and steaks on our very own island probably no one else has ever spent the night on. Then we had a fire and everyone settled in to enjoy an even better view of the stars than we had had the night before. Overall one of the best days I have ever spent off the grid. Though the following day may prove to even top this day!
Day 5: Tuesday March 17th
Day 6: Wednesday March 18th
Day 7: Thursday March 19th
Day 8: Friday March 20th
Day 9: Saturday March 21st / Recap
Coming Soon, 2015 In the mean time check out a video from our sister site and contributors over at Femme Nomads