Thursday, March 12, 2015

Percha Creek Side Canyons ( north side)

We now continued on upstream to explore four side canyons on the north side of the creek. The first one we were done with quickly enough. It was wide and sandy, and in just a short distance we concluded that there was little chance of it containing anything like a slot section.
 The second one was a different story. It  had  a persistent trickle of flowing water that ran in a narrow channel of bedrock, forming the occasional reflecting pool. Although, it never got that deep, we had great fun following its winding course all the way up to source of water: a spring with huge tufts of grass growing and a thicket of deciduous growth. We turned around shortly after reaching this spot as the canyon began to shallow up.

 The third canyon was the real find of the day. It was very narrow and was bounded by rough, steep cliffs as much as 60 feet high. It too had a small trickle of water throughout, that over time has carved a zig-zag crack in the red conglomerate. Doug and  I both agreed that this one could be considered a slot. It was, unfortunately, the most difficult to photograph.  A thin layer of clouds made lighting conditions that had little contrast and  no shadows. We were probably walking in the canyon in the noon to one hour which wasn't good either. It was also difficult to get a shot that showed the true depth of the canyon. We both decided it was a "nice" canyon.

 The last side canyon we checked was the very bottom end of Ready Pay Gulch- a drainage similar in size to Wicks Gulch. The mouth of Ready Pay empties into the east  end of The Box. We came at it from the road out of The Box and could see two big, but seemingly climbable  drop-offs below us. Just a short ways further on was 50 or 60 foot pour off which ended our exploration of the this last canyon. There were perhaps a couple of more we could have investigated, one east of Wicks and on the south side still intrigues me, but I believe we saw the best of the side canyons. Important Note: while most of land involved in exploring these canyons is BLM, accessing them from the stream bottom of Percha Creek involves crossing land that, although it is not posted, is indicated as private on official maps.

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