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  • Steve

Escalante Petrified Forest State Park

Updated: May 15, 2020

We had a first….

With a little guidance, she did it all by herself.

Jen did almost all the work to move the trailer AND she DROVE the trailer to our next location.

Thankfully, there wasn't too many things for her to look at on the trip

I don’t think she even hit the speed limit most of the way ;)

It must have helped Bob because he made it another trip without incident.

Little relaxation for all of them after the short drive

Escalante park isn’t as nice as Kodachrome but it does have a nice size reservoir filled with blue gill and bass and they have covers over each camp table. They also have showers but with a timer :( and as Jen says the water hits you so hard you feel like you might get bruised.

So the next morning we rolled out and stopped in at the Kiva Coffeehouse for coffee and breakfast . The building was built into the hillside with a very nice view of the Escalante River.

Yes, that is a chocolate muffin for breakfast!

The Lower Calf Creek Falls Trail was our longest yet coming in at 6.75 miles (includes getting to trailhead) with 521’ of elevation change. It wouldn’t have been so hard of a trail but it was deep sand for most of it combined with direct sun and it made for a long hike. The last 1/2 mile in had quite a bit more shade, thankfully. Altogether, It was worth every bit of it for this….

Lila was not doing so hot in the 2nd mile of the trip
Then she saw this and...
Happy girl again!! (I got lucky with this shot)

We hung out at the waterfall pool for about an hour to eat some food, play in the water, and see this…

Lila caught this in action. I was surprised how long it took for the snake to eat this fish. Jen was not impressed at all.

On the way back, it seemed to be cloudier so we were protected a bit longer, but ran out of protection and WATER the last mile. Overall, I think it has become a top contender in the favorite hike category.

Lila did such a great job on the trail that we treated her to ice cream at Nemo’s drive-in. They gave some healthy portions for a 1 scoop cone.

While we were at the falls, Lila met a younger girl to play with and later when we got back to the campsite we saw them again. They are staying here for the next couple days too. Very nice family and we talked for quite some time while their 2 daughters played in our trailer with Lila and the cats.

I decided I was going to go try out the Eagle's View mountain bike trail that was on the camp map. The camp ranger said it is a black diamond trail so I wanted to go see what that meant. Before I left, I spoke with him again to get directions and I told him I saw some pictures online of another rider on the trail and it looked like there were some steep drop-offs, almost like a cliff. He said, “yeah, there is definitely is some steep spots” and I asked if there was some bail out room ;) and he kindly said “no, not really”. hmmm…. Well I went anyways and it took 4 miles just to bike to the trailhead and after about 1/2 mile of flat terrain, I hit the hard stuff. Boy, was it hard!! Pretty much switch back after switch back climbing up the hill and the higher you got the steeper the sides became. I need to practice biking a lot more before I can stay on the bike and make those hairpin turns going up a steep hill. I walked probably 50% of the first 1/2 mile to get near the top where it flattened out a bit. Anyways, it was lots of fun, very narrow, and technical with all the rocks and switchbacks along the way. I bailed out a few times but made it home after 6 additional miles with no broken bones. Funny, the ranger forgot to mention to me that when you got to the end of the trail you were stuck in a barbed-wire fenced area. I rode through tumbleweed and tall grass for about 200 yards hoping for an exit but no luck. So I had to lift my bike over the fence and crawl under in a wash (flash flood creek bed) where the wires weren’t so close to the ground.

There is a trail some where in there
This part was pretty fun but still had some challenging sections

When I got home, Lila was still playing with their daughter and they invited us over for s’mores later. I was getting a snack out of the pantry when their daughter saw it (Biscoff cookies) and she lit up with excitement and said that was her and her mom’s favorite cookies. With a stroke of genius, I decided I should go get some more at the store so we could have s’mores with Biscoff instead of graham crackers. Boy, was that a fantastic idea! Yum!! Lila also taught everyone her genius trick of inserting the chocolate into the marshmellow first then roasting it so it melts the chocolate too.

The next morning, we got off to a quick start and headed out of town by 10am to head to Fruita Campground in Capitol Reef National Park.


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