Letters From a Bus
May 2008: Springtime High Plateau
7th entry for May

Mt. Dutton Drive and Red Canyon Hike

Hatch, UT, Day Twenty-eight at Cherokee Springs Golf & RV Park, Site: I-18

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Friday, May 16. We drive to Cedar City and get acquainted with the Escapees. 

On Friday we drove down to Cedar City leaving just after seven.  It was sunny and cold at 33°.  It was 50° when we arrived at Starbuck’s in Cedar City after eight.  I got my nails and hair done and we did errands.  We stopped by Mountain West Books where I picked up my reserved copy of Auditions.  I haven’t been in a bookstore since we left home and this was a nice one.  I would have loved to spend an hour there browsing around.  I took advantage and quickly selected several more books, including the biography on which the John Adams TV series was based. We were home by five. 

Almost immediately Jo knocked on our door and invited us to their picnic table at seven for dessert.  I was amazed.  This is a first.  No couple or group has ever before invited us to join them for dessert.  They told us to bring our own drinks and our camp chairs.

Fortunately the weather was calm and warm all day.  There was no wind.  We joined them at seven while the sun was still above the horizon and with jackets we were comfortable sitting outside.  Nancy and Jim with the Hurricane were there.  Bob with the Winnebago joined us.  Only Arlen with the Country Coach did not come out. Soon Bandito backed up the drive with a flourish in his little white pickup.  He’d been to the post office in Hatch and he delivered mail to Pete.  Betty and Jo served strawberry shortcake and told us they organized the dessert to celebrate our anniversary.  I was stunned.  What a very thoughtful thing to do.  We had a good time getting acquainted until almost nine when the cold drove us all inside. 

Betty and Jo are high energy.  On Saturday, the three couples plan to clean out a rental ranch house for Bandito.  The Escapees think we should join them for a rally in Wyoming in August.  We should make reservations.  A thousand RVs will be there and it will be a lot of fun.  They have classes and you meet a lot of nice people.  Pete and Jay wanted to know why we don’t have Escapee decals on our bus.  I don’t know — because we don’t like decals?  Jay said that we would enjoy Bootcamp, the classes offered to first time RVers on how to drive and manage your RV. 

Saturday, May 17.  I read about Escapade.

The sun is out and it looks like we will have a warm and windless day.  Apparently LA and SF are having a heat wave.  Bandito has already whizzed by on his way to the golf course.  Betty has walked by with her Lhasa dog, Dakota. 

Jo gave me a thick booklet to keep so that we can know what to expect at the Escapade in Gilette, Wy.  It is titled, Escapees RV Club Escapade, April 22-27, 2007, Stockton, CA.  In various buildings Escapade offers registration, hospitality (coffee, donuts, information bulletin board), and there are outdoor markets and an RV show

Bandito talks to Betty. Betty and Jay are old friends who worked here last year.
Cherokee Springs, UT 5/16/08

and vendor booths.  Daily Christian fellowship is offered together with daily exercise classes.  On the first day there is Registration, First Timers Orientation, door prizes, an Opening Ceremony, an Ice Cream Social, and Las Vegas imitator style entertainment in the evening.  On the last night there is a farewell party and on the last day there is a Hitch Up Breakfast.

During the intervening days there are information classes such as financial classes (Investments for RVers), how-to classes (Basic RV Systems I), travel classes (Taking an RV trip to Alaska), driving classes (Backing that RV), legal classes (State of Your Domicile), medical classes (Controlling Your Own Medical Destiny), health classes (Shopping, Cooking and Eating for your Health), maintenance classes (Honey!  Let’s Clean the RV!), performance classes (Gas and Diesel Ultra-Power Performance), hobby classes (Great Photography on the Road), charity information (Habitat for Humanity) tours (Winery Tours and Wine Tasting) and Ham-O-Rama tryouts (SKP member’s talent show).  There is a craft schedule with ongoing daily workshops for carving, quilting, beading, painting, etc. 

I get tired thinking about this.  Some of these classes would be of interest to me but I can’t say that the entire week turns me on.  It sounds socially exhausting.  I’m not sure I could do it.  I asked Dennis about it.  He says if he were in the area he would go but that he doesn’t want to drive a long ways to go to an Escapade.  But one has to make reservations well in advance.  Dennis says the couples invited us to follow them to go to the rally.  Hmmm.

Mt. Dutton as seen on better days.

Sunday, May 18.  We drive around Mt. Dutton 

The day started out sunny and clear so I thought this would be a good time to make a loop drive around Mt. Dutton.  But it turned out to be not ideal.  The weather is so changeable here!  By the time we left, Mt. Dutton had gone behind a cloud and it never emerged again for the rest of the day.  Mostly it is visible so I chose the worst possible day to make this drive.

We made a counter clockwise loop bordering Mt. Dutton on the south side of the Sevier Plateau on SR-12. We left at 9:30 and stopped at the Pines (at six on the clock face) for breakfast.  Continuing on our loop, we turned north onto SR-22 at 11:00 am.  Even though it was overcast it was fun to see new scenery.  Passing Widstoe, we went through a canyon and then arrived in Antimony by noon.  It is 35 miles north of Bryce and sits at one o'clock.

At 12:10 pm we decided to try to take a dirt road up to Mt. Dutton summit.  We turned back to the dirt road just south of Antimony and started from 6,440’ el.  It was 75°.  We drove 11 miles southwest towards the center of the clock face and made it as far as 9,790’ el. At 1:30 pm we had

Mt. Dutton as seen from Panguitch — or is this Mt. Circleville? Panguitch, UT 4/29/08 11:16 am

to turn around because of snow over the road.  By 2:30 pm we were back in Antimony where we stopped at a convenience store and restaurant called the Mercantile.  With the dogs, we sat on a patio out back where we enjoyed boysenberry pie a la mode.  The patio faced a small RV park so we ended up talking to a couple that was staying there.  They belong to an ATV group and they meet in different places in their RVs once a month and then ride the local trails.  We also talked to a couple that was riding double on a motorcycle. 

At 3:20 pm we resumed our drive around Mt. Dutton passing through Kingston (twelve o'clock) and then turning south on SR-89.  Mt. Circleville was straight ahead of us.  We passed through Circleville (eleven o'clock) and Panguitch (eight o'clock) passing SR-12 (seven o'clock) and got back to the bus by 4:40 pm.

Mt. Dutton as seen from Cherokee Springs. Named for Clarence Edward Duttton, Mt Dutton is 11,036" el. Cherokee Springs, UT 6/9/08 10:57 am Mt. Dutton as seen from Paunsaugunt Cliffs, an upscale view, housing development. Clarence Dutton traveled with Major Powell and deciphered the geology of the Grand Canyon and the tablelands on the west edge of the Colorado Plateau. Hatch, UT 6/11/08 4:01 pm
Looking north, we are 30 min. north of the Bryce entrance road at SR-12 and 20 min. south of Antimony. From the level Sevier Plateau we start to drop into the East Fork Sevier River Canyon.
Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 11:32 am
In the canyon by the west side of the road, near the river we see this abandoned building. Was it a mill?
Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 11:35 am
In the canyon by the east side of the road, we see this abandoned mine. Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 11:41 am On the east side of the road, we see this abandoned shack. Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 11:42 am
Cattle are loose on the road. It isn't that unusual. We keep a sharp eye out for deer also.
Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 11:47 am
Driving by cattle is very exciting and calls for loud barks. Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 11:48 am


No. 137 Erected Aug. 4, 1949

Pioneers of Antimony

In 1873, Albert Guiser and others located in a fertile meadow which they named Grass Valley. Surveyors camped on a stream, lassoed a young coyote and called the place Coyote Creek. The first L.D.S. settlers were Isaac Riddle and family who took up land on the East Fork of the Sevier River. Later a school house was built, and the Marion Ward organized with Culbert King as Bishop. In 1920 the name was officially changed to Antimony after the Animony mines east of the valley.

Forrest Camp, Garfield, Co.

We stopped to read this plaque.
Antimony, UT 5/18/08 11:58 am
We are on SR-22 taking #125 southwest to Mt. Dutton. In theory, if we continued we could make a loop and return to SR-22 further south . We begin at 6,440' el.
Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 12:08 pm
We begin our drive towards the elusive summit.
Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 12:16 pm
We've passed a cell tower and we're at 7,100' el.
Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 12:28 pm
Looking northeast past Antimony, we have a view of Otter Creek Reservoir and Otter Creek State Park.
Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 12:37 pm
On the rise or bench ahead we can see the north/south trail #3056 that will cross our road just ahead.
Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 12:48 pm
#3056, Willow Spring Trail, has crossed our road (right) and is headed down towards Willow Spring Creek.
Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 12:52 pm
We stop at the crossroads of this trail to look around .
Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 12:51 pm
Dennis pulls out some bottles of water.
We are at 8,950' el. Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 12:57 pm
The alpine meadows are covered with tiny flowers.
Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 12:56 pm
The dogs sniff inside an old campfire ring. What's so interesting? Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 12:55 pm
As we continue west on the road we look down at Willow Springs Creek vearing southwest.
Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 1:03 pm
We are at 9,030' el. If Mt. Dutton were visible, it would be on the horizon somewhere.
Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 1:12 pm
We've driven eleven miles and we are at 9,550' el.
Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 1:17 pm
Looking west, might this be Table Mountain?
Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 1:21 pm
We pass a tent camp with ATVs. Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 1:26 pm Oops. This is far as we can go. There is snow and water on the road. Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 1:30 pm
We stop to look around. We made it to 9,790' el. Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 1:29 pm Aspen and fir grove.
Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 1:31 pm
We turn around and head back. There are still patches of snow on the ground. Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 1:36 pm Eleven minutes above the SR-22 trailhead we can look north towards Antimony and Otter Creek Reservoir. The river could be the Sevier or a tributary, Hoodle Creek.
Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 2:22 pm
Now we can see the little town of Antimony.
Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 2:24 pm
Our road drops down to Willow Spring Creek. Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 2:26 pm
Willow Spring Creek parallels our road on the south side as we approach SR-22. Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 2:29 pm
We stop at the Mercantile for a break and a snack. Sitting in back we can see their RV Park.
Antimony, UT 5/18/08 2:39 pm

We left Antimony at 3:16 pm and I would have liked to stop at Otter Creek State Park but the weather turned gray and consequently the rest of the drive was not particularly scenic. I have no photos of Kingston or Circleville. The home of Butch Cassidy is just south of Circleville by the Sevier River but it is private and not open. I hear you can see it from the road but we did not try to look for it.

Monday, May 19. We stay in camp and hang out.

Utah is an ATV mecca. There are many ATV trails and they are well tolerated. Mt. Dutton, UT 5/18/08 2:43 pm

Tuesday, May 20.  We hike up Red Canyon to Ledge Trail Point 

About noon we drove into Hatch to pick up the big bag of mail that is forwarded to us from the office.  I got a neat Mother’s Day card from Chris.  He put his photo on the front and recorded a greeting that plays when you open the card.  It plays a song also.

We drove to the Red Canyon trailhead and parked at 1:30 pm.  It was sunny and hot and 82° — very unusual for this area, so far.  There was a cool, little breeze.  We started at 7,350’ and hiked north along a wide wash up a slight incline for a mile on the Butch Cassidy Trail.  I get out of breath at this altitude so it took us 44 minutes. 

Then we turned west up a steeper canyon and hiked on the Rich Trail for a half-mile.  It took 36 minutes to reach the north-south bench or spine.  We turned south towards Ledge Point and in ten minutes we climbed an easy rise that brought us onto a south pointing, arrow shaped ledge.  It was level and covered with pines and junipers.  We sat on boulders by the east edge and snacked on trail mix while we looked down into the Butch Cassidy Trail canyon.  We were at 8,200’ so we climbed about 850 feet.

Then we walked out to the point and around the perimeter of the ledge.  By then it was 3:00 pm and suddenly it was extremely windy.  Although it was still warm, gray clouds to the north made us think we could be caught in a rainstorm.  It was so windy I had to hang onto my visor and Dennis warned me not to get blown off the edge!

By 3:30 pm we were back at the trail crossroads on the spine below the Ledge Point.  The wind dropped off immediately as we started down the canyon on the Rich Trail.  It took us 23 min. to drop down half a mile to the Butch Cassidy Trail.  Here we met a group on horses heading up the trail that we had just descended.  The guide told us that his father had helped to build that trail.  It took us only 22 min. to walk the last mile down the wash and back to the trailhead. 

By then I was very tired, stiff and sore.  I think we walked two miles each way — 90 min. up and 66 min. down.  Even though I am out of shape, at this elevation I don’t think that’s too bad. 

The Butch Cassidy trail heads north from SR-12 and parallels a dry wash. Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 1:50 pm
We begin from the Red Canyon trailhead at SR-12. Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 1:38 pm
We've crossed the dry wash and walk above it on the west side. To our right (east) is Butch Cassidy Draw. Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 1:53 pm Dennis stops to wait for me. A Utah mountain boy, he does not get breathless.
Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 1:38 pm
We've walked a mile on 093, Cassidy Trail, and now we turn west to climb 092, Rich Trail.
Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 2:06 pm
Looking west after a ten minute climb up Rich Trail.
Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 2:16 pm
We're gaining some elevation.
Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 2:32 pm
Looking north at the cliffs above Rich Trail after a twenty minute climb. Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 2:26 pm
View looking back on Rich Trail. Elsa gets her breath.
Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 2:33 pm
We hit switchbacks after a thirty minute climb. Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 2:38 pm
We've reached a bench. The Rich Trail will turn north and climb those red cliffs we saw. We turn south.
Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 2:41 pm
Dennis climbs an easy rise to the ledge which culminates in a triangular point with views on three sides. Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 2:44 pm
Looking east towards Butch Cassidy Draw. Cassidy Trail is somewhere below. Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 2:45 pm Eight minutes later we reach level ground on the ledge. Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 2:53 pm
View looking northeast up the draw. Elsa enjoys a rest with water and trailmix sitting on boulders by the edge of the ledge. Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 2:56 pm Elsa's view of the ledge while resting by the cliff edge. We are at 8,200' el. and we climbed 850 feet.
Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 2:53 pm
Red Canyon Panorama. Looking east towards Butch Cassidy Draw. This is a combination of three photos.
Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 2:56 pm
We walk south on the ledge to see the views along the edges. Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 3:05 pm
Looking east we see a steep canyon that drops down to Cassidy Trail.
Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 3:07 pm
Looking towards the south, the east side of the ledge has a precipitous drop. Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 3:07 pm
The point of the arrow-shaped ledge is just ahead. The weather has changed. Suddenly there are dark gray skies in the north and a very strong wind has come up. Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 3:09 pm
At the point of the ledge, Dennis looks at the southern view. Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 3:09 pm
Looking south, we can see Hatch, the town five miles north of our campsite. Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 3:10 pm
Dennis searches for an exit trail that goes south off the ledge down to the highway — but no luck.
Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 3:11 pm
Looking west across the Sevier River valley towards the Markagun Plateau. Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 3:15 pm
Dennis starts down the steep, half mile, Rich Trail to the Cassidy Trail.
Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 3:29 pm
We walk north off of the ledge towards the Rich Trail. Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 3:24 pm
"My grandpa helped build this trail," says the horse wrangler about Rich Trail. Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 3:48 The horses head up the trail that we just descended. Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 3:49 pm
We walk the mile back down Cassidy Trail.
Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 3:56 pm
It is startling to see little white flowers grow out of the red sandstone. Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 4:00 pm
There is a tunnel under the highway for the dry wash. Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 4:11 pm There's the Honda. We're back at the trailhead.
Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 4:11 pm
This was a two and a half hour hike and I was pretty tired by the time we got back to the car. But I also felt encouraged that I'd been able to do it at this altitude. Several times on the way home, Dennis said, "You did good." This is unheard of. Dennis is not one for praise so I knew I'd held up pretty well. I love to go on hikes so I hope I will continue to improve and we can look forward to exploring many more trails.

Wednesday, May 21.  It snows!

Yesterday we hiked in eighty-degree weather.  This morning it snowed.  I tried to get photos to prove it.  Of course it didn’t stick but it was cold and windy and we didn’t go out.

I’ve been busy taping old segments of LOST for Jay.  I record them on Direct TV and keep them.  He gave me tapes and I’m getting him caught up on the last five segments.

The workers here that we’ve met are busy every day.  They use weed-whackers along the grassy perimeters.  They water the gravel road and drag it with a leveler.  They’ve cleaned out the rentals — the ranch and the condo.  I had a nice visit with Betty the other day.  She was a high school teacher in Home Economics.  She switched to middle school and loved it.  She is high energy and very cheerful and positive.  She is into alternative health solutions.  I like her very much.

Thursday, May 22.  I do my exercises.

After our four-mile hike on Tuesday I finally decided to shape up.  Today I did the Denise Austin ball exercises.  I also did some other exercises.  Austin offers different combinations of a dozen exercises for each day.  She emphasizes upper/lower body strength on Mon., Wed., Fri. and Core on Tue. & Thu.  Sat. is for stretching and Sun. is a day off.  I think it is a very good program.

They bring the horses to the trailhead in this trailer. Do they bring the riders in it also?
Red Canyon, UT 5/20/08 4:15 pm
Can you see those dots slicing across the bunch grass and our firepit at our site? That's snow!
Cherokee Springs, UT 5/21/08 1:00 pm
Volunteer workers start to clean up the area for the summer season using the weed whacker, picking up debris, mowing the lawns — such as they are....
Cherokee Springs, UT 5/20/08 12:47 pm
This grandpa has two grandkids that rode with him to the post office. A little guy is out of sight in front of the ATV. Cherokee Springs, UT 5/20/08 1:17 pm
Elsa Walton, Cherokee Springs Golf & RV Park, Hatch, UT, Thursday, May 22, 2008