The Janke Family

Sand Cove: The Vortex

Today we explored the slickrock East of Gunlock, Utah. The area is known as Sand Cove. We were particularly interested in finding The Vortex (AKA: Cowboy Potty, The Bowl). The hike starts on top of the lava plateau, takes you down across Sand Cove Wash, up the Slickrock Valley, then up on top of Camelback Mountain. The Vortex is an impressive giant pothole (AKA: Goblin Pot, Water Pocket). Water and ice filled the bottom on our visit, so we did not climb down into the pot. It was a great day to be in the desert with family and friends!

Parking GPS Coordinates:

Latitude:   37°16’47.6400″N
Longitude:   -113°44’18.0600″

The Vortex GPS Coordinates:

Latitude:   37°16’16.4928″N
Longitude:   -113°44’51.0828W

Red Man Pictograph

This is a two part adventure. Our first attempt at finding the Red Man pictograph we started at the Fort Pearce ruins and hiked down (West) the Fort Pearce Wash. We found many great petroglyphs, but Red Man was elusive. We made it approximately 1 mile down wash, but some of the troops are short legged so we didn’t make it far enough down the wash to where I suspected Red Man to be hiding. On our second attempt we navigated the Fort Pearce Ridge Trail in the Jeep. It was fun to give the Jeep a workout. Anything larger than a Jeep would have a very difficult time on that trail as it is primarily an ATV trail. When we were approximately 2 miles down the wash from the Fort Pearce ruins we started glassing the north rim line of the wash. Once we located his lofty perch above the wash we set our bearings and headed across the wash and up the mesa. It was a bit of a walk, especially the last couple hundred yards up the mesa. Overall it was approximately a 1 mile round trip from the Jeep to Red Man and back. According to the Dixie Archeology Society, Red Man “is thought to be a “sky watcher” waiting for the return of Pohana, a white god who was prominent in Meso American mythology. Pohana departed to the east with the promise that he would return. The Native Americans look to the eastern sky in hopes that he would return.” It was a great adventure, and definitely worth the effort to find him!

GPS Coordinates:

Latitude:    37°00’24.4″N
Longitude:    113°25’47.5″W

Yant Flat

Church of Yant Flats. We Drove the whole Cottonwood Road loop from Saint George to Leeds. We hiked the “flat” out to the Candy Cliffs, incredible geography. No serpents wanted to play today, but I did get to put my mad pit crew skills to use fixing a flat. I Wish I had an ARB Bushranger X-Jack…

Birch Hollow 2015

Imagine an impossibly narrow canyon with sinewy curved and twisted wind-swept paths, lit with mysterious shadows and hints of light, that tempt canyoneers to wiggle, slither and climb to its finish. Birch Hollow is such a canyon, yet it’s a forgotten gem in the canyoneering world, because it doesn’t hold the stigma of being within the Zion National Park boundary. Not only does Birch Hollow offer some of the best canyoneering to be had anywhere, it can be combined with two of Zion’s magnificent classic canyons, Orderville Canyon and the Zion Narrows.

California Surprise

We planned a surprise whirlwind California trip with the kids. We got everybody packed and ready to go on the down low, then woke the kids at 6:00 A.M. on Saturday morning with the news we were going to Knotts Berry Farm! The teenager objected a little, but we were shortly on the road and excited. We drove straight to Huntington Beach, and spent the afternoon in the surf. We spent the night at the Knotts Berry Farm Hotel, and spent Sunday at the park. We had never been to Knotts Berry Park, but we found it to be a very refreshing change to Disneyland. After the day at the park we hit the road and made it home in the wee hours of Monday morning. The whole round trip was just short of 42 hours! It was an epic adventure!