It was cool last night, but I was cozy warm in my new Western Mountaineering down bag. Although Art complained about it being cold, we all agree it's a reasonable temperature when we stir around at 8:00. We have breakfast, break camp, and head out around 9:00. The view of the river from the top of the Redwall is still awesome.
The trail begins a rapid descent through the Redwall. Although steep with numerous switchbacks, it is easier than some Redwalls I have done.
After an hour into the hike today, we realize there is still a long ways to go to reach Tanner Rapids. I'm not sure I would want to go all the way from the trailhead to the rapids in one day. That would make for a long, tiring day. Marsha drops behind, so maybe she is continuing to have leg cramps.
One trip report I read talked about an area of some exposure on the lower Tanner. We come to one spot with some travertine deposits, but I would hardly rate it as having exposure. We find nothing scary about this section of the trail or for that matter, any section of the Tanner.
The farther we descend the more plant life we encounter. It really is amazing the variety of plants we find. Cactus in bloom are some of my favorites, but it's still a little early for many of them, though.
Art and I pull into Tanner Rapids around noon and find a nice shady spot for lunch. It is hot and we are tired, even though we've only been hiking about three hours today. The steep trail and descent have taken a lot out of us. The rapids seem quite tame compared to some we've seen on previous hikes.
After lunch, we head west on the Escalante Route, which initially climbs up above the sand beach through a series of steep trails. About a mile west of Tanner Rapids, we see several interesting solar arrays that apparently transmit data of some kind. I wonder who put these here and what they do.
The dominant feature north of Cardenas Creek is Apollo Temple. We meet several people doing a day hike to the east from Cardenas Creek and their rafting party. The last mile into Cardenas Creek has a lot of ups and downs and we are really pooped when we pull into camp around 3:00. It looks like we're going to have to share this spot with the sixteen rafters here.
Two guys in the rafting party bring us three beers. Art has two and I have one. SWEET. We set up our tents and rest a while. We speculate that Marsha probably decided to spend the night at Tanner Rapids.
Another trip report I read talks about some Indian ruins nearby. I am determined to find them. I have my GPS with me along with the coordinates for the ruins, so that should help. Unfortunately, the climb up the south side of this hill toward my waypoint is steep and somewhat dangerous. I reach the waypoint, but don't see any ruins. I look around more and am just about to give up, but decide to make one last effort to reach the top of this hill to see what's there. As I crest the ridge, I find the ruins, considerably away from the waypoint. I guess the Indians chose this spot because it would be easier to defend, but it would require a lot of effort to reach water at the river. I am exhausted after my climb. I then find there is a well established trail down the north side of the hill to the bottom.
Just before supper, one lady with the rafting group brings Art and me a plate of appetizers. Art and I cook our supper and then a second lady brings us each another beer. REALLY SWEET. The rafters have a battery powered water filtration system we use to fill our bottles and reduce the amount of filtering we have to do tomorrow morning. For the second night in a row, we are worn out and head to bed just after dark.