ALL HIKERS

DAY 2: SOWATS CANYON TO MOUNTAIN SHEEP SPRING, DAY HIKE

     Richard and I finish eating and packing before the others, so we decide to move on up Sowats Canyon to the campsite next to Mountain Sheep Spring.  None of the others have been to the spring or campsite before.  I leave word that if they go past the running water they have gone too far.

   
  Richard in Sowats Canyon
10-2-2014 @ 8:44
 

     The campsite is next to a cliff a hundred feet or so uphill from the creek and is hidden from view by thick brush.  I recognize the cutoff point in the creek bed, we take it up to the camp spot, and set up our tents.  Richard and I then go back down to the creek to wait for the others.  Ten minutes of waiting for the group turns into a half-hour and then an hour.  Something has really got to be wrong for them to be taking this long to get here.  Richard decides to go up the creek bed to the Spring and finds some of the group there.  The others apparently continued looking up canyon for the campsite well past the last water.  Eventually, everyone makes it into camp and sets up their tents.  Since it is so close to noon, we have lunch before going on our loop day hike to the north of here.  This is a great campsite with level ground, a cliff and brush providing excellent protection from the wind and sun, and a neat cooking area.

Richard Erbe's bivy
10-2-2014 @ 11:22
Richard's tent
10-2-2014 @ 11:23
Emily and Rachel's tent
10-2-2014 @ 11:23
Tim and Traci's tent
10-2-2014 @ 11:23
Adrian and Mike's tent
10-2-2014 @ 11:23
The kitchen
10-2-2014 @ 11:24

     We leave for our day hike just after noon, pass Mountain Sheep Spring, and climb some ledges next to the spring.

Mountain Sheep Spring
10-2-2014 @ 12:10
Mountain Sheep Spring
10-2-2014 @ 12:11
Climbing a ledge
10-2-2014 @ 12:12

     We meet a bunch of older hikers in a guided group just above the spring.  Since we have already claimed the great camp spot by the cliff, they are relegated to the smooth rock area above the spring.  Their female leader is not the friendliest person.  Then it's a lot of walking up a dry and rocky Sowats Canyon until reaching the cairn marking the uphill trail.

   
  Walking up Sowats Canyon
10-2-2014 @ 12:22
 

     We start the uphill slog to the top. 

Climbing up the trail
10-2-2014 @ 12:39
Traci and Tim
10-2-2014 @ 12:43
Climbing up the trail
10-2-2014 @ 12:49

     There are some interesting rock formations near the top.  Tim and Adrian name the rock that looks like a face "Homer Simpson."

An unusual rock
10-2-2014 @ 12:52
"Homer Simpson"
10-2-2014 @ 12:56

     At the top, the ladies are feeling feisty and challenge the men to a game of King of the Hill.

   
  King of the Hill
10-2-2014 @ 1:01
 

     The trail at the top is substantially level and easy walking.  In a little while, we reach Jumpup Canyon and discover that this trail exits directly across from the Ranger Trail sign we saw yesterday.  We then make our way down Jumpup until we reach the ledges and ladder.  Having gone down this yesterday, we are much more efficient in doing it today.

The trail on top
10-2-2014 @ 1:34
The ledges and ladder
10-2-2014 @ 3:21
The ladder
10-2-2014 @ 3:21

     Then it's a lot of walking and some minor scrambling down Jumpup until we reach Sowats Canyon.

Jumpup Canyon
10-2-2014 @ 3:36
Descending Jumpup Canyon
10-2-2014 @ 3:41
Jumpup Canyon
10-2-2014 @ 3:45

     With just a day pack, it only takes us about twenty minutes going up Sowats Canyon until we reach camp.

Sowats Canyon
10-2-2014 @ 4:16
Sowats Canyon
10-2-2014 @ 4:29

     Adrian has acquired the name, "The Pizza Man," on the Grand Canyon Hikers Forum for the amazing pizzas he cooks while camping.  We watch as he and Mike make dough, smooth it around a pan, spread sauce on the dough, place generous helpings of meat on the dough, and top everything off with cheese.  Then it's a slow cooking process over an open flame from an alcohol stove.  The result is a perfect pizza.  Richard and I are salivating as Mike chows down on his pizza.

Mike cooking pizza
10-2-2014 @ 6:17
Mike's pizza
10-2-2014 @ 6:17
Mike eating his pizza
10-2-2014 @ 6:21

     Tomorrow I am leading the group to the south to the cottonwood trees below Sowats Point, around and down Ojojojo Canyon, and back around to camp via Jumpup and Sowats Canyons.

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