Life & Death | Coyote Buttes North

IntrepidXJ

ADVENTR
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
3,463
Sunday, February 12, 2012

This trip report is dedicated in loving memory of my mom, Kathryn J. Langstraat.

I've long been a believer of enjoying life and living it to the fullest. That's why I'm out exploring the Colorado Plateau and Rocky Mountains just about every chance I get (and creating all of these trip reports some of you enjoy reading). You never know just how much longer you actually have on this Earth, so I always try to make the most out of my free time! I was sadly reminded of that fact this very weekend.

Friday morning at work I received a call from my dad. My mom had arrived at work and suffered a heart attack. She was rushed to the hospital and was being kept alive on a ventilator. We were told that her brain was without oxygen for too long and that she was probably brain dead. They ran a few tests to check for brain activity throughout the weekend and early in the following week, but she never recovered. She was taken off of the ventilator on Tuesday afternoon and peacefully passed away on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 6:00am in the morning with my dad, sister and myself by her side.

On Saturday, as I was exploring Coyote Buttes South, my dad booked me a flight to Chicago from Flagstaff, since it was the closest airport to Page, for bright and early Monday morning. I was hoping for the best news from the test results, but feared the worst.

My mom's sudden death was rough on me since I had not seen her in about three and a half years because I did not want to return to Illinois. She was supposed to come out here this year with my dad in their brand new RV, and I was looking forward to the visit. I really hope she knew how much I loved her, even though I never said it much.

---------

After a good nights sleep at hotel in Page, Arizona we were back on the road to the Wire Pass trailhead. The weather forecast was calling for rain and possibly snow for much of the day, but that did not deter us. I've driven the House Rock Valley Road in my Jeep just after a storm when it was wet before, so I really wasn't worried. It turned out that the road was still dry the whole way. We were the first ones to arrive at the trailhead for the day, but just as we were getting ready to start hiking a low four-door sedan pulled into the parking lot. I bet he was hoping that the road remianed dry all day...

When I was here last November with Amanda we mainly explored the area just around The Wave since it was our first time here. This trip I was looking forward to visiting more of the Coyote Buttes North area including photographing Melody Arch and exploring up on top of Top Rock.

Near the end of our initial hike to The Wave, Jackson climbs the sand hill as the sun peeks through an opening in the clouds.


Almost There by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

There were a lot of clouds in the sky throughout the day, but they were moving fast with plenty of openings for the sun to peek through, so the light was constantly changing. I seem to have trouble keeping my shadow out of the photos here, so I embraced it with this one.


Can't Escape My Shadow by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I took an obligatory photo from within 'The Passage' even though it may not be my favorite photo from this spot.


Passage Lines by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Jackson taking a photo of The Wave while the sun is shining on it.


Surfing the Wave by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Of course I took a few new photos of The Wave while we were there, too.


The Wave by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The sun highlights The Wave and surrounding sandstone through a hole in the clouds for a few minutes as we hiked above on our way to visit the Second Wave.


Wave From Above by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr


Sandstone Wonderland by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I liked the way the tops of these sandstone ridges caught the light.


Catching Light by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

There were many sections of 'brainrock' in the area.


Brainrocks by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Finally, we reached the Second Wave and took a few photos before the sun hid behind the clouds again.

slide.jpg

Second Wave by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr


Second Wave Cloud by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Jackson provides a sense of scale to the area.


Scale by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We even found a large pool of water and were able to get a few photos with reflections. I'm still waiting for the day I find a nice pool of water in The Wave...maybe when I return in May.


Reflecting Pool by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr


Reflected by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The shape and color of the sandstone found in this area of the Paria Plateau is just outstanding!


Color, Light & Shadows by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr


Coyote Buttes North by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Next we hiked around and up onto Top Rock so we could find Melody Arch. Jackson hiking on a colorful ledge behind me.


Hiking On a Ledge by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Great scenery along the way.


Nice Day for a Hike by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

While trying to figure out a way to reach Melody Arch we found this very cool alcove that contained a large sand dune. At this point we were above it with no way down, buy we did get down to it after visiting Melody Arch.


Above the Sand Dune Alcove by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We did eventually find our way to Melody Arch. If you look closely, you can spot three different arches in this photo. I believe the other two arches are known as Top Rock Window and Elephant Trunk Arch.


Melody Arch by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This is just another of the many unusual and colorful sandstone formations found in the area. It was raining or snowing off in the distance.


Swirl & Storm by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I couldn't pass by this colorful stack of layered sandstone without taking a photo as we hiked back towards The Wave.


Colorful Stack by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A nice view out from inside a few teepees.


Awesome View by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr


Looking Out by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Here's two more photos I took as we hiked back to the Jeep at the trailhead.


On the Way Back by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr


Hiking Back by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After reaching the trailhead again, we decided to drive back to Page via the southern route so that Jackson could try and get a photo of a California Condor along the way. We stopped at the condor release site and spotted at least a dozen condors high up on the Vermilion Cliffs, but they were too far away for a good photo even with my 100-400mm lens and after we hiked closer. We finished the drive around the Vermilion Cliffs, over the Navajo Bridge and through the Echo Cliffs to reach Page again. We grabbed some dinner and went to bed early so that we could drive to Flagstaff in the morning to catch my flight to Chicago. Jackson ended up driving my Jeep back home to Grand Junction and was able to get some better photos of a few California Condors at the Navajo Bridges on his way back.

What was supposed to be a fun birthday weekend with a friend in the wilderness became very bittersweet knowing that there was little hope that my mom would recover.

>> Coyote Buttes North Photo Gallery
 

Nick

-
.
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,939
So sorry for your loss, Randy. I can't even imagine what it must be like. You captured CBN like I've never seen though. Absolutely stellar photos.
 

Bill

.
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
991
So sorry to hear about your loss Randy, I cant even imagine what it would be like have my Mom pass away suddenly like that.

Your work just keeps getting better and better with every outing. This light you captured at the wave is probably the best I've ever seen. Its even more bitter sweet to me because I get skunked every time I go out there.
 

Yvonne

I lava it!!!
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
3,865
I'm also very sorry to hear about your loss, Randy. Loosing someone so close is always hard and really takes time to get over it. I lost my husband suddenly in 2010 and it was a really hard time.
But your pictures again, they are more than perfect. Please keep them coming, it's always such a pleasure to enjoy them.
 

pixie1339

Desperately Seeking Sandstone
Joined
Jan 21, 2012
Messages
1,692
A beautiful report, as always. I'm so sorry for your loss. I dread the day that I lose my mom. You're absolutely right about making the most of your time on this earth, and I'm sure your mom was proud of you for doing so. Continuing to live your dreams is the best way to honor the biggest gift that she gave you: your life.
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
739
I agree with everyone. Sorry for your loss and your pictures are awesome especially of melody arch and the sand alcove.
 

jdgibney

Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
246
Randy, I don't know how I missed this, but my sincere condolences on the loss of your mom. Your images, as always, are spectacular. Thank you for sharing them with us, and again I'm sorry for your loss.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
F Balancing Urban Life with wilderness Solitude Noobs: Introduce yourself! 1
wsp_scott NYTimes article: Guess the spot saves someone's life General Discussion 1
balzaccom Clarence King's Life General Discussion 0
Rockskipper Surviving In The Wild: Can Your Photo Gear Save Your Life? Photography 1
P New to the canoe life Gear Reviews 4
DrNed Secret Life of Mountain Lions Webinar General Discussion 0
Julie Frahm The Meaning of Life @ 13,167 feet Backpacking 12
uintafly One place for the rest of your life General Discussion 2
Nick Life Straw Gear 3
climbhigh1119 How doable is the sneak route out of Death Hollow with kids and a dog? Trip Planning 6
Duketogo13 BMT- Death Hollow-Escalante Triangle loop Trip Planning 20
balzaccom Death Valley again Hiking & Camping 0
T Death valley Trip Planning 3
J Death Valley Natl. Pk. Upper Monarch Canyon plus. Dec 1, 2021 Hiking & Camping 1
J Death Valley Natl. Pk. A Black Mtns and Canyons Traverse Nov 30, 2021 Hiking & Camping 2
J Death Valley Natl. Pk. 6 Days hiking. Nov 14-19, 2021 Hiking & Camping 1
Janice Cosmic Ashtray via Wolverine/Little Death Hollow & Escalante River? Trip Planning 16
napatony13 DEATH & DESTRUCTION-Incredible Video of Rockslide in Northern India General Discussion 1
Bob Death Hollow - Top Half a revist..... Backpacking 0
RyanP Conditions (water/bugs) for Escalante/Death Hollow Trip Planning 27
J Death Valley National Park and Area Mountain Rambles Dec. 16-17, 2020 Hiking & Camping 0
J Death Valley Natl. Pk: Funeral Pk, Slit Canyon, and Big Dune. Dec 21-22, 2020 Hiking & Camping 1
J Death Valley NP Black Mountains and beyond Hiking Dec 19-20, 2020 Hiking & Camping 1
Burrito Death Valley van trip turns into something pretty special General Discussion 7
J Trip first week of April 2021 Southern UT/Anywhere AZ - Death Hollow, Coyote Gulch, or other suggestions? Trip Planning 9
R Boulder Mail Trail to Death Hollow Trip Planning 1
balzaccom Death Valley again Hiking & Camping 4
norwegianxplorer Death Hollow from Hells Backbone road 7 day loop with My Own Frontier Canyoneering 0
Miya Death Valley Birthday - Part 2 (3.7.20-03.8.20) Backpacking 15
Miya Death Valley Birthday - Part 1 (3.5.20-3.6.20) Hiking & Camping 28
Scott Chandler Death Valley Trip Planning 7
J Death Valley National Park Keene Canyon-Wonder Mine Loop. Dec. 3, 2019 Hiking & Camping 1
J Death Valley Natl Pk Ibex Peak, Jubliee Mtn, Virgin Springs summits Dec. 2, 2019 Hiking & Camping 0
J Death Valley NP: Corkscrew and Artist Palette Peaks, scramble dayhikes Nov 2019 Hiking & Camping 1
J Death Valley NP. Marble-Cottonwood (side slot) lollipop loop Nov 17-19,2019 Backpacking 10
Mountain of Youth Death Hollow Loop in mid-September Trip Planning 11
Mikjik86 Flooded out in Death Hollow, Utah. May - 2019 Backpacking 4
NorthwestWanderer Waterfall Hikes & the death of my legendary Chevy Cobalt...in a rock slide. Hiking & Camping 8
RyanP Lower Death Hollow next week (late May/early June), miscellaneous questions Trip Planning 16
piper01 Little Death Hollow, GSENM Hiking & Camping 3
fossana Death Valley road closures post flooding Trip Planning 3
balzaccom Rainy days in Death Valley Hiking & Camping 3
Boognish Lower Death Hollow Narrows April 2018 Backpacking 17
J Sierras to Bristlecones to Death Valley NP: Peaks, Trails, Dunes and Canyons Oct 26 to Nov 10, 2018 Hiking & Camping 0
N Noob from CLE, headed to Death Hollow Noobs: Introduce yourself! 12
Kullaberg63 Upper Death Hollow - blitz descent Backpacking 8
Kullaberg63 Death Hollow 6-21 to 6-24 Meet Up (Members Only) 0
Strawsome Lower Death Hollow at it's finest Backpacking 3
J Escalante Natl Mon. Wolverine and Little Death Hollow and overland routes April 22-25, 2018 Backpacking 0
RyanP Lower Death Hollow, mid-April Trip Planning 8

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Top