It rained overnight and continued in the morning. Not hard rain, just a gentle pitter-patter. The ranger said this rain is common at this time of the year as it is the Monsoon Season.
In spite of the rain we headed off on the Panorama Trail after breakfast. We think we prefer hiking on an overcast day with a slight drizzle rather than a sunny, hot one. The sun around here is fierce.
The trail is a moderate one as it sticks to the desert floor, meandering among the rocks, spires, and columns. The trail took us to a curious place called Indian Cave. On the walls next to the cave (just a sandstone overhang) are markings which look like handprints. It is not known if these were made by men or are just strange weathering. To us they look too human like to be strange weathering — they have four fingers and a thumb.
Further along the trail we could approach the base of some of the pipes (columns). Geologists are not certain how these were formed, but harder rock was formed inside of tubes within the sandstone. When the sandstone eroded, the pipes were left.
Another interesting loop off the trail was to the Secret Passage. The trail took us into a box canyon and then we passed out of it through a narrow passage. At the opening of the canyon were two interesting spires which looked almost like massive anthills.
We returned to our campsite after the 3.5 mile hike to relax and prepare to cook dinner over a fire.
Tomorrow we have to start seriously heading east and north so we can get home by the 14th. There are so many places we would still like to visit, but that will be another trip.
This post was written by David and Janet Elmore