ALL HIKERS

DAY 2: HANCE CREEK TO HANCE RAPIDS

     Boy, did it rain last night.  It's still raining this morning, so everyone stays in their tent and gets a little more rest.  Finally, around 9:00 the rain stops.  My great isolated camp site is now a small pond with my tent right in the middle of it.  The bathtub floor in my tent must be waterproof, because the inside of my tent remained dry while my tent has been sitting all night in water an inch or two deep.  Darcy is still not feeling well today, so he heads on down the trail early.  The rest of us decide to check out the wall inscriptions by the creek.  They are pretty neat.  We even find one from John Hance.  Adrian is sick today also and believes it is from some food he ate yesterday.  He was unable to eat breakfast this morning.

Wall inscriptions
10-20-2015 @ 10:41
Looking at the inscriptions
10-20-2015 @ 10:42
Wall inscriptions
10-20-2015 @ 10:42
Wall inscriptions
10-20-2015 @ 10:43
Wall inscriptions
10-20-2015 @ 10:43
John Hance inscription
10-20-2015 @ 10:44

     While we are looking at all the wall inscriptions, we hear a large roar.  All of us immediately think a flash flood is coming down the creek.  However, the water flow is much less than the sound it is making.  A few years ago I almost got flushed out of Ojojojo Canyon in a real flash flood.

Mini flash flood
10-20-2015 @ 10:42
Mini flash flood
10-20-2015 @ 10:42

     Lucky for us the water flow is fairly low as we scramble to get to the other side of Hance Creek to reach the trail.  Once up on top, we head to the north.

   
  Leaving Hance Creek
10-20-2015 @ 11:01
 

     In a little while, we come to Darcy sitting beside the trail.  He is still feeling very badly and thinks it would be wise for him to turn back.  We visit a while and then continue up the trail while he heads back to Hance Creek.

Darcy beside the trail
10-20-2015 @ 11:33
Traci and Darcy
10-20-2015 @ 11:34
Traci, Darcy, and Emily
10-20-2015 @ 11:35

     The low clouds and fog make for a great picture of a shrouded Angel's Gate.

Angel's Gate
10-20-2015 @ 11:38
Craig with his Texas flag
10-20-2015 @ 12:14

     We round Ayer Point and make our way into Mineral Canyon.  I've always thought it has the most beautiful red walls, reminiscent of the ones on the New Hance Trail in Red Canyon.

Mineral Canyon
10-20-2015 @ 2:23
Mineral Canyon
10-20-2015 @ 2:59

     While taking a rest break, an older gentlemen (Henry) comes walking up the trail.  He has been hiking for a week and has seen plenty of rain.  His plan is to camp tonight at Page Springs, but it seems pretty late to make it that far today.  Maybe he will join Darcy at Hance Creek tonight.  We round the corner above the River and make our way through a huge boulder field.  It takes a lot longer to get below all the rocks than I thought it would.

The rock field beginning
10-20-2015 @ 3:06
The rock field
10-20-2015 @ 3:15
Almost to camp
10-20-2015 @ 3:50

     It's still about a quarter-mile to Hance Rapids, but this spot is so nice and level that we elect to make camp right here.  The first thing we do is fill a bucket with River water so the silt can start to settle out.  I have heard of putting alum in muddy water to aid in filtering, but this is my first time to actually try it.

   
  Muddy River water
10-20-2015 @ 4:31
 

     This is a fantastic camp spot right next to the River with smooth sand, so we set up our tents.  Several girls are camped about a hundred yards to the east.  They are all out sunbathing in bikinis sans tops.  Craig announces that he is going to venture over to Hance Rapids to see if the creek is flowing clear water.  None of us is buying that lame story.

Richard's tent
10-20-2015 @ 4:31
Adrian and Emily's tent
10-20-2015 @ 4:31
Craig's tent
10-20-2015 @ 4:32

     This camp spot even has a great kitchen area.  Yikes!!  I find a big rat right next to my tent.  Upon closer inspection, it turns out to be a stuffed toy animal that Emily brought.  She is quite the prankster.

The kitchen
10-20-2015 @ 4:38
A toy rat
10-20-2015 @ 4:54
A toy rat
10-20-2015 @ 4:54

     In about an hour, the water in our bucket has settled enough that we can start filtering.  That trick of adding a little alum to the muddy water worked great.  Without it, we might not have been able to filter until morning.

   
  Relaxing at camp
10-20-2015 @ 5:25
 

     After being sick all day, Adrian finally throws up and feels a lot better.  Maybe he is now over what may have been some food poisoning.

     Tomorrow will be our hardest day.  We have to get past the Papago Slide and Wall and hike almost ten miles to Cardenas Creek.

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