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Trip Report: Spring Break '05 (page 6)
All photos by Todd unless otherwise noted.

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Participants: Todd & Steph
Well, our weather reprieve lasted but a day. The next, and final, day of the trip dawns cloudy, windy and cold with occasional sleet and rain. As they say: 'There is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.' So we set off on a little hike to Yellow Rock and immediately walk up the wrong drainage. Experienced outdoors people that we are, we quickly realize our error and confidently head off on a new, and equally incorrect, route. Sheer force of will, and a steep off trail climb, eventually bring us to the unique formation of multicolored sandstone called Yellow Rock. The area is quite scenic, though would have looked better in full sun.
In our guidebook, Hiking and Exploring the Paria River, the author Michael Kelsey describes a rock formation he calls Red Top in the following fashion:
"The top is as red as the brightest autumn leaves, the lower parts are yellow -- all varicolored Navajo Sandstone."
Red as the brightest autumn leaves?!? Those familiar with Mr. Kelsey's books will no doubt be as surprised as myself by this uncharacteristically poetic description. Needless to say, this is something we have to see. We leave the trail and venture cross country in what, may in fact, be the correct direction.
Sure enough, the red glow from the hillside guides us like a beacon. I really like the gradation of color in this rock formation.
The color is, in fact, like nothing else I've seen and really stands out among the surrounding brown and tan sandstone.
And here's the tippy-top of Red Top.
As mentioned in the outset, wildflowers were indeed on the agenda. Prior to getting a digital camera I'd collect plant samples in the field for future identification (I'm trying to make this sound scientific, when in reality I was stuffing my pockets with sticks, leaves, dirt and other assorted detritus. Not a bad way to go, but it had the unfortunate effect of leading to conversations like "Honey, why is my washing machine full of sticks, leaves, dirt and other assorted detritus?"). Now I just take a picture and try to figure out what it is when I get home. Unfortunately, I still don't know what this tiny flower is. If you can identify this plant, kindly drop me a line.
We'll end with another flower, this time an Indian Paintbrush or for the more PC crowd, a Native American Paintbrush.
That pretty much wraps up this report. If you've enjoyed reading it half as much as I have in writing it, then I've enjoyed it twice as much as you. The next page has a few photos which didn't make it into the report, but were nice enough all the same.
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