75th in the Swell

For my 75th birthday, I decided a camping trip to the San Rafael Swell would be a great way to celebrate.  Also, my son and daughter in law were anxious to try out their gear.  So the Swell would be a good way for them to get some experience and also discover why I love this area so much.

My friend Rod and I drove the Willis and Nisa down the Mexican Mountain road to one of our favorite camp grounds.

The original idea was to hike down to the head of the Black Box, where the river just enters the deep canyon.  In previous trips, we had scoped out a couple access ravines into a canyon that led to the river at the point it started carving the Black Box.  How hard would it be to follow a cow path down the canyon?

Unfortunately, we followed the wrong ravine.  A big dropoff prevented us from accessing the canyon.  But exploring the ravine was fun, and led us back to our vehicle. 

From there we drove closer to Mexican Mountain and found one of the excellent trails to a Black Box overlook.

The return hike offered a fine view of Mexican Mountain.

Upon returning to the campground, we discovered good news and bad news.  The good news...  there's now cell phone coverage in the Swell.  The bad news... there's now cell phone coverage in the Swell...

After an evening around the camp fire and looking at stars, we bedded down somewhat early.  This let Rod get up at the "crack of dawn" for this pic.

Rod's excellent nature photos can be found on his website:  swellphotographs.com.  They are available for purchase will all proceeds going to the Southern Utah Wilderness Association.

All in all a great time.  I won't recount the major and minor tragedies that occurred. let's just say the tree will probably live, and hopefully the next ravine hiker has the same prescription.