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Photo Gallery Number Nine

Beginning our hike down Coyote Gulch.

In September of 2000, my friend Lou and I were again out west to do some hiking. This time, however, our destination was southern Utah, to the Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument. The hike we chose was one that followed a stream known as Coyote Gulch. The entire length of the hike took us down that gulch, beginning in the dry wash which you see in the photograph above.

Large tree in the wash.

Not very far down the wash, we encountered this large tree. It looked so out of place in the desert environment, yet it flourished there.

Here was a not-so-subtle reminder that we were in a harsh, desert landscape. I don't know what animal this skull belonged to, but it certainly made an impression sitting there in the sand.

Skull in the sand.

The Jacob Hamblin Arch, seen in the photo below, served as our backdrop for two wonderful nights of camping in this wilderness. This arch was named for a Mormon leader who lived in the late 19th century, and who surveyed much of this land.

Jacob Hamblin Arch

We spent a total of four days hiking and camping in the Coyote Gulch area, and for the first two of those days, we saw not another human being. Though there were many footprints in the sand, the only voices were ours, and when our voices were silent, the quiet and solitude was amazing.

Vince in front 
of the Hamblin Arch

This photo of me with the Hamblin Arch in the background was taken by my hiking partner, Lou.

On our third day in, we left our packs behind, and carrying little more than water and our hats, we trekked further down the stream to find this amazing geological wonder. This is the Coyote Natural Bridge. If you look closely, you can see the stream quietly meandering under its span.

Coyote Natural Bridge

The river was
 our trail

For a great part of our hike, the river was our trail, as there was no other place to walk but in the stream itself. We found ourselves removing our boots and wearing only sandles much of the time, and then we had to watch out for "sinkholes", where we would suddenly drop through the wet sand up to our knees without any warning.

Hiking back to our campsite at the Hamblin arch, we were able to see what it looked like from the other side.

Hamblin Arch from the other 

Click here to visit the next photo gallery (Grand Canyon Hike 2001 to Cheyava Falls)

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