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Paria Canyon 1994

Everything but the kitchen sink

Sunday, April 20   This was our first of two planned layover days on the trip. Having one the first full day out is nice because it helps to eat down some of that food we don't want to carry, as well as dissipating the jet lag. We actually had moved further upstream than the object of our explorations today, Kitchen and Starlight Canyons. We had done that because there was not very good camping near the mouth of Kitchen Canyon, but across from Hogeye, things were OK. Layover days have a sense of disorganization about them, in sharp contrast to the SWAT team mentality that usually accompanies our "insertion days." I think it is in part because I tire of pushing the herd of cats that my friends represent to the trailhead, and also because, they are, in fact, a herd of cats. Everyone wants to do their own thing, which is fine with me, because I want to do such as well. Susie is usually pretty accommodating of my interests: that is, she will do what I have planned for us if she feels like it, but won't if she has something else, or nothing else, which is sort of "something," to do. Since our mutual interests seemed pretty congruent on this Sunday morning, we took off with George, heading back down stream to the mouth of Kitchen. The rest of the crew seemed to want to do some other explorations first.

To avoid having to do more back tracking, we cut across the v-shaped bench which separates "Kitchen Creek" from the Paria. In doing so, we came across some nice petroglyphs on the west wall of the canyon. The water in Kitchen has an unusual amount of grit in it, or at least did when we were there. It seemed strange, given the fact that it had not rained for a while. Below where Drip Tank Canyon feeds into Kitchen, the latter is not all that interesting. Although there was one spot where the canyon floor is so narrow that you can not put two feet together and have them both be level on the stream bed. Right above the mouth of Drip Tank, there is a big pour off, and a small waterfall, which is kinda pretty. The guidebook refers to it, not particularly imaginatively, as Kitchen Falls. We took some photos, and headed on up Starlight Canyon. A little over a half mile up Starlight, there are some pretty good narrows, and a place where if you want to work at it, you can climb up thru the narrows, and continue on up canyon. We suddenly caught a severe attack of the "Lazies," and it looked like more work than any of the three of us wanted. Also, I wanted a bit of time this afternoon to explore lower Hogeye, so I did not mind turning around.

Just as we neared the mouth of Starlight, we ran into most of the rest of the crew. It seemed like perfect company in a lovely spot to stop for lunch, so we did. As usual, there was much ribbing about the types or quantities of food being eaten. Today, it was Will's turn to get the grief: he pulled out a huge plastic jar of peanut butter. We were all amazed that he was carrying more than a pound of the stuff. He tried to deflect criticism, by pointing out the size of my bag of "snacks," but with little success. It was a case of the pot trying to call the kettle black, and it was not working. We all laughed and enjoyed the moment. The rest of the crew headed up Starlight, reporting later that the climb up thru the narrows was not too bad, and the views of Molly's Nipple were pretty neat as they got up on top. Susie, George, and I headed back to camp, and Susie and I took a little trip up Hogeye. About a half mile up Hogeye, there are some nice little pour offs, which were good for photographing. We spent a bit of time up there, but decided not to continue up Hogeye, because it was time to start thinking about getting cleaned up and organized, prior to tomorrow's hike up canyon. We went back, had our usual bath, making the trek from camp back to the outfall of Hogeye to get clean water. We also wanted to start rehydrating some vegetables for Pasta Primavera. Dinner was spent listening to each other report on their day's exploratory tales.

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Roger A. Jenkins, 1994, 2000