At a yoga class my backpacking buddy was asked about her purple middle toe. That's when I knew it was COLD crossing the Coyote and Escalante rivers a few week-ends ago. We plowed through the penetrating FREEZING ankle-deep water to hike the other shoreline. The sunshine was heaven and hell: the joy of the warming rays to piecing pain as my feet rapidly de-frosted. The group agreed to find a higher route to Stevens Arch Canyon and stay out of the streams.
We found a faint trail high-up with the tops of hoodoos and an orange monolithic locomotor. We followed a winding single track and filled our bottles with sweet spring water. Our original Stevens Canyon destination was below us, shrouded in dense shade and unmelted snow. Our sunny side was the place to be in the beginning of March. We'll save Stevens Canyon for a hot summer day when the cool water is welcomed and after our war-wounds have healed.