Coyote Gulch

Escalante Canyons

May 7-9, 2007

David Svilar, Dan Svilar



The creek cascades over a small drop near camp in Coyote Gulch.  Above: Two generations of gristled Svilars standing under a pretty arch.

The plan was to spend the weekend in San Francisco in order to watch my sister graduate from writing school.  At this moment I do not remember how a trip to the desert was in any way related to a trip to California.  Not that one should ever need an excuse to visit America's sandstone paradise.  My Dad introduced me to this paradise 20 years ago and it has captivated me ever since.  We took two long road trips in the USS Svilar in 1987 and 1991 visiting Arches, Bryce, Zion and the Grand Canyon.  Since moving to Colorado I had spent time exploring other areas - some less frequently visited - and wanted to share them with my dad.  So, after a weekend in California's second largest city we were both ready for the quiet solitude of a canyon.

After a night at Tony G's north of Vegas we drove the rental Malibou to our target destination - the canyons of the Escalante River.  Side trips were made to Calf Creek Falls and to Harris Wash so Dad could make his first foray into a slot canyon.


The editor apologizes for pictures of the city.  Above is the famous view of the city from ?? Park - my sis lived half a block away!  Below mother and son take a morning walk toward the Golden Gate.
Finally to the desert...  Dad stands ankle deep beneath Calf Creek Falls.
An attempt by the photographer to be artistic.  Dad patiently poses.


Dad weaves his way through a slot canyon.  While not very agile or quick of foot he is, at the very least, skinny. 


#1 Rule of the Roadtrip:  NEVER pay for lodging.  Dad wakes slowly in the parking lot to another day of splitter desert skies.

Our sidetrips to the falls and slot canyons were appetizers for the main dish - a two night trip into Coyote Gulch.  Besides the scorching death marches to and from the canyon we spent pleasant days in the canyon meandering upstream in the ankle deep waters.  Our camp atop a flat boulder will sit etched in my memory as long as I have one.  Staring up at the starry skies and listening to the gentle trickle of the stream echoing off the canyon walls it was difficult to imagine that just two days prior we had been in the middle of a city.  On the last night I broke the big news to my Dad - only the second to know - I was going to ask Jill to marry me.  In hindsight a few hours before I planned to sleep.  He kept me awake for two hours after, laying in our sleeping bags atop the flat boulder gushing about what a great decision that was.  We walked out the next morning early to avoid some of the heat, walking silently except for my Dad to occasionally remind me of his approval for Jill.

Dad empties a good portion of Colorado Plateau from his shoe.


Who's the stud with backwards hat and slick shades?  That's my Dad surveying the Escalante River drainage before dropping into Coyote Gulch.


Our camp atop the enormous, flat boulder.


This photo has it all.  A waterfall in the foreground, Dad walking the creek, and an arch in the background.


Dad spotting birds along the cliffs.



Trying to make sense of ancient petroglyphs.



Sitting on the edge of a cliff during the hike out of Coyote Gulch.



Dad works his way through the improbable passageway through the cliffs.


Nearing the top of Angel's Landing on a quick hike on our way back to Las Vegas.

  - compiled October 2008

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