Lakes, bridges and Indian ruins

Trip Start Jan 05, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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What I did
Butler's Wash
Cowboy's Camp

Flag of United States  , Utah
Sunday, June 10, 2012

It didn't matter too much that I didn't use the waterfall to shower as we went across Lake Powell on the ferry to get to Hall's Crossing, a good swimming spot.

The fresh water lake was fun to swim in. The 'beach' was just rock surfaces and the lake was surrounded mainly with cliff edges. Dillon and Chris spent a lot of their time jumping from the cliffs into the water. I refused. I'm not ready to jump into water when I know the risks. One day I will give it a go though. I swam around to a spot that made you feel alone surrounded on two sides with giant cliffs. As always water and sunlight equals sunburn. I started using sunscreen again at this point.

The locals told us about a place called Cowboy's Camp. It had a bunch of native ruins there apparently so we headed off in that direction. The ruins were quite impressive, probably because the Indigenous people in Australia don't have ruins like this. It was houses made from rocks stacked on top of each other with clay-mud in hollows on cliff edges. It was interesting as well because you could kind of see how they used each area; they had kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms just like our houses do today just in a different environment with the tools they had available to them. I was impressed.

After a couple of hours we headed off towards Natural Bridges National Monument, an area with some of the world's largest natural bridges (natural because they were made through erosion). I really wanted to stand on the bridge but it wasn't allowed and the one guy we saw try to get up there couldn't make it. Joy learnt that I really wasn't afraid of heights and I learnt that she really is when I sat on the cliff edge at the viewpoint and she freaked out. Dave, the koala, attempted to fly but I grabbed him before the wind pushed him off the edge. I was more afraid for Dave's safety than my own. Except for when I was throwing him up and down the ladder we had to climb to get to the view point, at that point Dave proved he couldn't fly when he nearly fell down the cliff again. Silly Dave!

We headed off again to a place called Butler's Wash, a trail that led to pretty epic ruins of some native houses built into the sides of cliffs. Like most view points this one was fenced but curiosity got the best of us and we escaped from the view point. We crossed a natural bridge (which was accessible this time) and climbed down underneath it where we found some native hieroglyphs (hand prints). During the rain this spot would have been a grand waterfall. Then Dillon, Chris and I decided to scope out the cliff to see if we could climb down into the ruins. We found the easiest place to get there and with great difficulty Chris and Dillon made it down there. However, on the last part I decided if there were struggling to get down as 6ft boys then I'd have zero chance of getting back up and thus I refused to continue deciding it wasn't worth the risk. I started heading back up and at one point where it is seriously a 'slip and die' type climb I started freaking out and shaking with fear; the only thought going through my mind was 'I can't die on my mum's birthday'. I decided to sit down and wait for Chris and Dillon to help me. They had a similar climb themselves getting back up the part I refused to go down. I, like all good Aussie travellers, recorded part of the struggle. Luckily they did make it and helped me up, once up there we all sat down still shaking out pants. Dave, in all this chaos, had become my crotch teddy as I had attached him to the button on my shorts.

We headed back to the car where Dillon and Chris expected Tanya and Joy to yell at them. They returned to the car cocky though cause they had survived to tell the tale.

Making it to Blanding, we grabbed a pizza for dinner and camped in a RV park, used their showers and left before we had to pay in the morning. I slept in the car and had a decent sleep, the others slept in the tent and some slept well while others didn't.
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