Tuesday, March 3, 2015

McCarty Trail - Escalante Canyon - February 14, 2015

My sister-in-law (Sharon) has had both knees replaced over the last couple years. Old sports injuries had resulted in severe pain and deterioration of both knees.   After the last surgery she mentioned that she was interested in trying hiking with her new hardware.  The weather had been unusually warm and dry for a month or so.  I'm always in the hiking mood - no "getting worked up" or "getting in the mood" is required.  So, my wife and I discussed going on a hike and we thought it would be good to ask Sharon to come along.  We felt a fairly mild hike would be best so she could see how the knees work.  We chose the McCarty trail in Escalante Canyon.  It's about 3 miles round trip to the top of the cliffs, though the trail continues beyond that.  It's also about 1,000 feet of elevation gain.  It's kind of rocky in spots.  It is definitely a test for modern joint hardware.

The Trailhead

Right off the bat the trail starts heading skyward.  The Gang! L to R - Me, Sharon & Joann

We took our time and stopped frequently for pictures.  Rarely am I in a hurry hiking - unless a thunderstorm is chasing me.  The clouds had some fantastic shapes to them.  The cliff goal is in the back top of this picture.

After the first half mile or so, the trail reaches a bench which is very easy going before more ascent to the top.  There are some huge rocks and cracks and crevasses.

Bionic woman enjoying the trip.

Lots of great driftwood is all along the trail.

Every big rock should be climbed - though I only tackled this one.

Wifey and me - check out those "winter" white legs.  That's another good excuse to go hiking more!

Once on the cliff, the views are incredible.  We could see all the way from the San Juans near Ouray, CO to the Bookcliffs near Grand Junction, CO.

Sharon saved us all by holding the cliff together!

The true test of the hardware would be going down.  Downhill is always harder on the joints and muscles than going up.

Everyone had a great time.  Sharon's knees did not have any problems and she didn't have any pain.....until the next day!  The ladies had sore muscles the next day or two.......sissies!