"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Slot Canyons, Caves, Rocks & Snow - Nevada!

Panaca, Nevada
Cathedral Gorge State Park 

                                 And we saved the best part for last...
 the slot canyons and caves!
Moon Caves and Cathedral Caves are an area in Cathedral Gorge of slot canyons and caves formed by erosion in the bentonite clay.  Explosive volcanic activity deposited layers of ash hundreds of feet thick long, long ago.  You can wander around, in and out and climb up into different caves and slots here.
Here's a video of what it looks like hiking through one of these very narrow slot canyons.
Some are a very snug fit and you have to walk sideways.
The walls are maybe 50 feet up. Different colors.  Some smooth, but mostly rough and hard.  Looking up from down in the slot into the openings was really cool. 
Lee coming through.

We wandered all around discovering different slots of different lengths.
Sometimes it took a few tries to find a path we could climb to get to the caves.

Some had deep shafts that dropped straight down.  You are allowed to repel at your own risk.  We passed on that.  I sure wish we brough flashlights to be able to look further down though.  Good, sturdy hiking boots are a must here.

Ya never know what you're going to come across in here.  Maybe a dead bird, 
maybe a photographer named Lee?

Trace determined to find the cave entrance.
Another deep one.  If you have children, you'd better keep them close as one could easily fall/slide down into one of these shafts.  There are no signs or warnings.
And sometimes it's easier to butt-scoot down the slick parts.
Trace taking a picture looking up the walls.  

Steve climbing out one of the slots.


The walls were so dramatic with colorful textures.

Some slots branched off to other slots.

The colors of the bentonite ranges from whites and grays to pinks, oranges, reds and purples.
It was fortunate that we saved the slots for our last day.  Even though it was windy and a bit stormy, back in the slots, there was no wind and very little sound.  Strangely quiet.

After all that fun playing in the slots and caves, we took a long back road route to check out Echo Canyon and Spring Valley State Parks via the Eagle Valley (Rt 322)/Atlanta Rd. Loop.  The state park campgrounds in Nevada are really nice.  Even though these are somewhat remote, they are just as nicely laid out.  The little lake would be fun to fish and kayak on.  You could fit a bigger rig in some of these sites.  The bathrooms are amazing!  Nicest looking we've ever seen.  All tile and wood and as nice as you'd find in a mountain cabin.
What we found fascinating was how quickly the mountains and scenery changed as you drove around each bend.  Different colors and textures or rock, different plants, trees and shrubs.  There is the Eagle Valley Resort way out here but it's far from a resort.  Several run down buildings, trailers and junk.  There was a little grocery/cafe but we weren't sure if it was even open any longer.

A surprisingly large creek runs through part of the way.  Spring Valley State Park was another nice surprise.  On another decent sized lake that would be fun to kayak on.

Old stone homes, remote ranches and leftovers from days past.

Loved all the beautiful scenery.  Lee and Trace moved over to Spring Valley State Park after we left. You can read all about the fun things they did there on their blog about it HERE.

It was a long, full day.  It was also Steve's birthday, and we usually aren't anywhere fun, so this was a fantastic trip and I'm glad we got to celebrate it with Lee and Trace. Once back home we grilled steaks and had another fabulous meal.  They gave Steve a really awesome picture of a grizzly bear.  This is especially meaningful as we had our first wild grizzly sighting with them at Glacier National Park when we all started out fulltiming and we have made lots of bear jokes along the way since. 
The weather was in for a big change next week and cold temps are coming tomorrow.
We woke up to some light snow atop the mountains.
As we drove out we said our goodbyes and hopefully we'll see them in California before they head back to Yellowstone.
I always loved the quote they put on their trailer from a popular song.
Driving out of the park was beautiful with the snow around us.
We drove south through Las Vegas and down into Suprise, Arizona where we'll be doing our usual visit with family for the next couple of weeks.  Our trailer will be having a big Salon Day!

You may have seen a couple of my videos made using Relive.  I've done a few hiking trails and even a kayak trip.  What's cool is it takes a satellite view of your activity.  I took one of the drive from Goldfield to Cathedral Gorge.  It shows some neat little things along the way.  It's a really fun program and I might upgrade to the paid version next year so I can add music and play with other options.
Check it out.