Day fifteen started real slow. I loved sleeping in at Poncho’s Kitchen and letting the morning start itself. We just didn’t feel like moving fast. Poncho’s is so nice and the bright sun was so mellow. Poncho’s might be one of the best groover sites we had on this trip. There is nothing like great morning sun and a view up and down the river. I’d hate to have someone come by and not be able to wave to them.
A small colony of Organ Pipe Cactus and Paul’s holey rocks.
After a great breakfast we finally launched at 11:20 and worked a staying dry in Doris and Fishtail. We were moving into what is called the “Muav Gorge” which lasts from about mile 139 to somewhere below National Canyon. Here the canyon has 1500′ deep walls of Redwall, Temple Butte and Muav limestone. The walls are quite vertical. If someone tells you to “park it where the sun don’t shine”, the Muav Gorge would be the likely place to try it. Some call it the “Ice Box”.
Passing the mouth of Kanab Creek just below mile 143 we thought of Major Powell’s second journey in 1872 which ended there. They had hiked out to Kanab for supplies. While there jacob Hamblin, Lee’s great great grandfather, advised Powell to abort saying that the Indians downstream were hostile. The Utah Blackhawk War had been raging since 1864 and Hamblin felt going on would be unwise. I don’t know why he didn’t give them the same advice in 1869. The Blackhawk War ended in 1872. The last skirmish was just a few miles from Spring City near the town of Fountain Green. A large group of Indians from all over the west had gathered near Fountain Green for a Ghost Dance. The US Army gathered them up without much of a fight and they were all shipped off to reservations.
We pulled into Matkatamiba thinking we would have it to ourselves like we had had Deer Creek the day before. My habit is to always tie up as if someone is coming in on top of you so I tied the boat upstream both bow and stern. Just as we were starting to hike up the creek in came a group we had not seen yet came charging in. The young woman at the oars asked “Is this Olo already?” I informed her that Olo was three miles back upstream. The rest of her group came in in very close formation. I jumped to and Lee and I helped them get their boats secured. One old guy came in wide flailing at the oars and cursing. Unable to make the pull in, he went on down to Matkat Hotel to wait for them.
We thought,”Well there goes our privacy.” We went on up to grab what solitude we could while they phutzed around with their gear. To our surprise they never did come up to the patio area. They climbed up the narrows and went back out on the high trail, never entering the area where we were.
Needless to say we had a great time hanging out. As we were leaving the boats we had told them to go ahead and take the first camp if they wanted it and we would find something smaller down stream.
As we floated down from Matkat to Upset we just didn’t see anything even big enough for our one boat so we ran Upset in the late afternoon light. It is a beautiful rapid in the sun. It was nice not have it looking at us in the morning chill.
We decided to go on down to Upper Ledges for camp. I prefer this camp to the main Ledges Camp. No one else was in the area so I didn’t feel bad about taking a large camp for our little group.
Dinner was chili dawgs, eaten with gusto. On the side were homemade thick cut potato chips with fry sauce and sliced avocados in lime juice. Not bad for day fifteen on a no-ice trip.
Tags: Dream Trip