to blow a whistle that I had brought along just for this purpose. It’s shrill sound reverberated back from the rocks and buttes, as if mocking my pleas for help. I was careful to drink often from my water bottles, but my water supplies were starting to dwindle. I was now down to my last gallon jug and the next spring was still a few miles away. When we planned this trek, we designated a site near the Colorado River for our second night. My plan now was to reach this designated base camp on the Colorado. With any luck I would find my companions there, waiting for me. For the moment, though, another much needed rest break was in order, under the sparse shade of a Utah Juniper tree…
The sun was very hot on this day. In the 90 degree heat the weight of my 40-
I resumed my trek across the Esplanande under the merciless midday sun. My water supplies were now dangerously low as I approached the top of the Redwall Formation, a natural limestone barrier separating the upper and lower regions of the Canyon. It was a pretty steep descent through the Redwall — sheer verticals and a “chimney” or two which required me to remove my pack and lower it down with some cord that I had brought along. I clambered down after it, hoisted it again onto my back and continued on. I was now out of water, my feet were sore, and I was feeling hot and tired. I really needed to make that next spring soon. According to my topographic map it was less than a mile away. Plodding along through a dusty valley suddenly I saw the spring in the distance shooting out of the limestone. I dropped my pack mid stride and made a beeline for the spring. I didn’t even bother to filter it — I was that parched. Cold water never tasted so good!
After a couple more hours of hiking I caught my first glimpse of the Colorado River — and it was gorge-