SAN RAFAEL SWELL
Elevation: 4,834 ft.
Ecological niche: desert riparian
Ownership: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, National Park
Location: south of Price, Utah
San Rafael Swell
September 15, 2006
Rain through the night. I left my fly partially open and have a soggy set of clothes as a result.
Chris and I get to organizing immediately. No TAs in sight.
Master packer Andrew Towl gulps a quick breakfast and starts loading the cargo van. Others join in as Chris cranks T. Bone Burnett and we have the camp stripped and vans loaded by 8:00.
The road out past Buckhorn is muddy. I come around a turn and hit a bog. The van slides, slows and loses traction before busting out. I turn to see Jenn slide into the bank and stop. I try rocking her van backward and forward a few times, As the students push, I get it moving and slide into the bank further along. My helpers are covered with mud. We push the van backwards onto a bed of dead branches to get a better line and go for it again. The van lurches forward, gains momentum, fishtails perpendicular to the road, hits the inside bank and climbs over. I throw it in reverse plunge back on the road, slam it in forward and slip slide out. Chris comes next, hits the bog at high speed, mud flies, the van fishtails, slides toward the bank, straightens and blasts out.
Wooohooo, we are on our way to Muley.