April 10, 2015
Dinner Pocket to Amos Spring on Shivwits Plaeau
It was so cold last night that we were reluctant to get out of our sleeping bags until the sun was almost upon us. After breakfast we divided up our communal gear and loaded our packs. We needed to carry enough water for a dry camp on the rim of the Shivwits Plateau above Amos Spring. The Shivwits Plateau is essentially the top level above the Kaibab Limestone. In this section of the Park, much of the Kaibab is covered with lava flows.
With food for 8 days, plus climbing gear, wetsuit and water, my pack weighed 56 pounds. About 14 pounds heavier than I have hauled since I was much younger. I could barely pick it up and get it on my back.
All of today would be walking on an old dirt road which I was told was virtually impassible to cars past Shanley Tanks. We were already a mile past Shanley. After walking for a few hundred yards, and noticing that the road was in pretty good shape (it is the sections with lava that are problematic), we decided to drop our packs and go back to get the 4Runner. We picked up the packs and drove to the point closest to our exit point on our last day. We parked the car and started walking again. But the road was so good that we again decided to go back and get the car. We left a gallon of water next to the road in case we needed it after our exit. We then decided to just continue on as far as we could go. We got to within about one mile of the end of the road when we finally gave up. However, when turning the car around, I drove over a large rock that I didn't see and got high centered on it. It took us almost an hour to get unstuck by jacking up the car and putting rocks under the wheels.
Once we freed the car, we dropped our packs and drove back 3 miles. We were now about 4 miles from our destination above Amos Spring. In about 90 minutes we were back at our packs, and in another 45 minutes were were on the plateau above Amos Spring.
After finding a good camping spot, we began looking for the old trail that leads to Amos Spring. We walked all over the area, but found nothing. But we did scout out a good route down to the bottom of the canyon that would eventually take us to the spring.
Because of how cold we got last night, we both decided to set up our tents. As per usual, I loaded several audio books onto my iPhone to listen to at night. Tonight I listened to The Meaning of Human Existence by E. O. Wilson.