Dolev the Tour Guide
Let’s Discover the World Together

L, D, and D and the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang featured in "Adventures in Buckskin Gulch"


Day 2 – July 5, 2014 - 18 miles

Wake up was slow to start for most of the gang, but D was up and running by 5am, debating whether to make noise so the  others would get up or give them more time to rest. Little did he know that L was already awake. In fact, she didn’t sleep at all, having to contend with the heat inside the tent and the snoring of both tent-mates, one on either side of her. The rest of the group seemed to be well-rested when they finally peeked out of their tents.

The other D got up first, debating what time it was since the sky was overcast and she could not tell whether it was night or day. When she finally decided it was day, she made noise. Open the tent zipper, close the tent zipper, open again, throw the backpacks out and everything else inside (aside for J), close the tent zipper. Et Voila! Everyone is up.

In what seemed like a very speedy but unrushed breakfast and pack-up job, everyone was ready to leave by 7am. Final group shot and bam – off into the unknown. The Hole-in-the-Wall Gang left to go up-canyon. The D’s and L started down-canyon, equipped with a BLM map, plenty of water and food, and high spirits that they knew would fade by mile 3. And so it was, but each kept their feelings to themselves because, after all, they were in it for the long run, no possibility of turning back or taking a short cut.

A feeling of impending doom covered most of mile 4 but at mile 5 the clouds lifted, the sun was shining, and a faucet of cold flowing water poured out from the canyon walls as if to tell the three that they would be alright. They decided that this was what the BLM decided to name on their map as “Big Spring.” That brought the morale up and after a short break, the group trudged on. To their dismay, they later realized that they in fact never touched the magic spring since water was flowing in the river quite clearly, meaning that drinking water was not an issue. However, it also meant that there would be plenty of river crossings. L decided to continue hiking in her boots as if they were water shoes. D had water hikers on so he didn’t care. The other D didn’t seem to care until having to go into a puddle that climbed over her ankles and into her boots, taking in gallons of unnecessary water that she claimed “slowed her down.” So she changed into Crocs and thus was able to keep up with the others until it occurred to her that they had slowed down their pace for her. But that’s okay; it seemed like they were making good time and decided to have lunch at what they estimated to be ten miles in.

Lunch was good. What came next was horrifying: They had to stand up! Let’s spare the reader the details of their astounding endeavor. Suffice it to say that they all eventually succeeded.

D was first to try since she was rejuvenated and wanted a head start. She was overcome by the others not ten minutes later and remained in the distant back throughout the day. D and L proved to be super-trekkers. At one point, the three got to a place where the river was thigh-deep. After some hesitation, they put the tallest man in front and waited to see what would happen. Once D successfully passed the obstacle, the other D and L followed. The little pond they crossed turned out to be the result of a beaver dam, and was a welcome change from the rest of the river crossings.

Moving on, they looked for another spring, the final spring, aptly named, “Last Reliable Spring.” This would be their stop for the night. It didn’t come. They were second-guessing their estimated distances again. They checked and double-checked the map. Nothing. Until the GPS came out. This was no ordinary hiker’s GPS. It was D’s driving map and it placed a picture of a car inside of the canyon, by the river. It was exactly where they thought they were and supported their argument that it was less than one mile to the spring. Ten minutes later they were at a campsite, trying not to think about the past nor future (nor present, for that matter, the pain being more than they would like to handle on a “vacation”). They hoped that the rest of the gang survived their journey in the other direction.

Photo courtesy of Darling Garcia