Yesterday we set out on the Hole In The Rock bumpy, gravel, dirt, and hole filled road for 8 miles to our next adventurous destination – Zebra Slot.
It is about an hour hike each way to and from the slot canyon…about an extra 20-30 minutes extra, each way, if you decide to venture off to Tunnel Slot also, although Zebra is the most popular due to its unique pink stripe features.
It’s quite a beautiful hike in, journeying the high desert, through canyons and across washes.
Definitely makes you feel like you’re on an expedition, and the way I felt inspired to dress, along with our destination of “Zebra” Slot, made me feel like we were on safari. 😉
(Side note: I’ve found that hiking in dresses is my favorite and freeing thing to do, so I have a couple of favorite ones for the occasion. I also love my hiking sandals, which I try to wear as much as possible unless the weather demands otherwise, as I just can’t stand wearing closed shoes and my sandals not only keep my bare feet touching the dirt, mud, sand, and water, but let my feet breathe and never get blisters. I know I’m quite a spectacle to some hikers we cross along the paths at times, but it doesn’t phase me.)
Although the trails are well marked, when you get to Harris Wash the trails veer off in different directions so it could get a bit confusing. Luckily I had retrieved some descriptions on what to look out for and along with our intuition it all helped veer us direct, although it wasn’t until the crow appeared, cawing and and turning into the direction of the entrance that we knew we must be there.
We also found bones right after the crow led us to the opening that seemed to be creating an arrow pointing into the canyon. Another sign.
And to confirm it all, we then came upon a young guy sitting in the sand with his camera around the bend who said in fact we were pointed the right way.
It was all a bit ominous as we continued finding bones at the entrance of the canyon, the crows kept cawing and we could see and hear them flying above the slot – their wings casting shadows.
They were chattering about something continuously.
We couldn’t make out if perhaps they had a nest up above and there may be babies with them, as I found a pile of twigs that could have been nesting material, inside a corner of the slot.
Or, if they were trying to give us a message.
I then came upon a moth on the rock and right after the moth, a beetle.
A lot of symbolism in this slot and we also found it a bit more challenging than Spooky Slot, although not dark like it. The tight squeezes had drops below them in areas where branches had been laid to help you across.
I had wanted to video our journey in or out of Zebra, but because I needed both hands to assist me through the tight and challenged areas, was unable to.
Luckily, Dave caught some photos of me getting through some parts of the slot, unbeknownst to me, but they give you a little idea of the maneuvering needed.
There were much harder areas than the ones he captured, but you can see that I hadn’t any hands for holding a camera to video.
At the mouth we came upon two women who said they didn’t go back that far – only until the first branch and turned around.
That’s too bad, we thought, as it wasn’t until after you crossed the branch and ventured into the more challenging and tighter parts that you got to see the real beauty of Zebra and why it got its name…the gorgeous striping begins deeper in and apparently you can go back quite far.
You can see the transition in the photos to where the stripes really start popping in beautiful colors.
We came to the pools of water they mentioned in the guide information I found, which apparently can be ankle to hip deep and you can cross into even more Zebra beauty, but we felt that arriving at the pools was as far as we needed to go, as it just increasingly got much, much harder and we were already incredibly awe struck with how stunning what we had seen was, plus we needed to get back at a certain time for a conference call Dave had scheduled.
After all, our days are balanced with work and play.
At the pools the slots opened to the skies more.
Once again, we had the slot to ourselves, as the women left immediately after we conversed briefly with them, and we got to explore on our own.
It is such a unique and hidden gem out in the middle of nowhere. Much like most things here in Escalante are….it is pure wild territory.
I hope you enjoy the images, as we once again journeyed into the ancient womb energy of Mother Earth.
There is so much unique, raw beauty to discover and we are continually awed at the vast and rich creativity that this planet has birthed from.