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Canyonlands National Park, Southern Utah. October 23-28, 1998

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Canyonlands National Park, October 23 – 28, 1998 Canyonlands Panorama Revised in Raw #3 resized Friday, 10/23/98. 7:15 PM A small crescent of moon is glowing over the black ridge of rock not far from us. Other large rock formations are silhouetted against an increasingly dark sky. The first stars are out and it won’t be long until it is very dark. And as the stars arrive the temperature continues to drop. Minestrone soup is simmering on the burner. 8:36 PM The moon is down. It is dark. There’s not a cloud in the sky and the Milky Way crosses the night sky right above me. Now snuggled up in my bag out under the sky. 50 degrees when I packed up my pack for the night. I’m sure it will drop lower. Canyonlands. Finally, a desert hike. It has been raining recently and there is water around. Potholes are full and creek beds have water also. Before dinner we walked up on the slickrock domes to see the sun go down. It was magnificent. The red rock took on a fabulous glow. We are up high enough to see all over. What a fantastic view Up on the Slickrock First Morning Revised in Raw #5 Resized Saturday, 10/24/98. 4:20 PM Rose at 8:00 as soon as I could see that the sun was up and by 8:25 was on top of the slickrock to where we were last night. It is so beautiful up above. Wandered around taking pictures until the roll ran out. It was a beautiful saunter. Needles District Revised #4 Resized 6:00 PM. Today’s hiking was really exciting. We walked on slickrock, in washes, across flats, up narrow parts of heads of washes. Up and down. Down and up. Some pretty harry steps where one wrong move could have been trouble. Some climbing of various types. All with packs that were quite heavy but manageable. Through the Window Revised #2 Resized Sunday 10/25/98. 7:45 PM We took a loop hike on the Joint Trail and around Chessler Park. Despite overcast skies it was an awesome trip. Going through the crack on the Joint Trail and down one of the side cracks only big enough for a single person without a pack was fun. Every step of the trail and the surroundings is different. The views, the landscape is bizarre. I’ve never seen anything like it. All the rock is like seeing the bottom of the ocean being made. We walked up and down slickrock, through cracks, between fins. It took concentration on every step. It was fun and exciting and amusing. Words cannot describe how cool it was. Just before coming into the shelter Jeff and I were talking about how bizarre life is. Here we are, humans which are the only animals in 4.5 billion years of earth history that can think and be aware and consciously change things. Here we are in the wilderness trying to get close to nature surrounded by all our high tech gear. What sense does it all make? None, of course, so why try? I’m reading about Crazy Horse and Custer. I enjoy the book and have learned a lot about the Indians and their way of life. It is strange how little we really know. I guess like Custer at West Point, we learn what we have to to get by, to accomplish what we want. The rest is superfluous. So, life goes on – we follow our urges, our senses, our emotion. And then some day we’re gone. We were talking about what the world would be like in 50 years and Jeff said, ” I won’t be here.” If I am, I’ll be 96. Very scary to think 50 years- what will be. “50 years from now” didn’t seem like an impossibility when we were younger. Now… Monday 10/26/98. 8:20AM What I love about it here is that it is so quiet here. Snag and Water Pools Revised Resized 6:00 PM I love the quiet. Today we were up at Druid Arch which was awesome. ( more later.). A raven flew over across a vast space of open air cawing out his warning. That alone was worth seeing but when it wasn’t cawing you could hear the whoosh, whoosh of his wings flapping. Sitting now under almost completely clear sky, finally. The moon is out about 2/5. Heading up to Druid Arch the trail was fun and interesting. Scrambling, climbing, a ladder near the top and then, Druid Arch. It rained on us again on the way up but stopped and was sunny when we arrived there. The view was awesome especially looking back down the canyon with the diminishing light and strong shadows. Soon we lost the sun and it sprinkled on us again on our way back. Near the end the sun shone strongly on some of the needles in front of us with dark clouds behind. As we were taking pictures a rainbow came out. What an amazingly beautiful sight! It only lasted for a moment and then the rainbow and light were gone. Druid Arch Revised #3 Resized   Redrock Ampatheater Resized   Rainbow over Redrock Pinacles Resized Tuesday 10/27/98. 3:50 PM As the hiking trail gets even better the weather gets worse. The trail today was more exciting and different than all of the wonderful stuff we’ve seen so far. Hiking up out of Elephant Canyon into Squaw Canyon we had to climb up to the slickrock… We stopped to eat lunch and sit out the storm… It was incredible and scary to see how much water came down from the slickrock so fast. Instantly there was sizable waterfalls and rivulets. As quickly as it came, most of it was gone after the rain stopped. Just like turning on and off the bath water… Up we went to towards Lost Canyon. The water was running down where we were climbing up. This time our rain luck ran out. It started to rain hard and we just kept climbing. It was another beautiful slickrock pass open and awesome. Now, our luck ran out even more. The trail in the rain was a water course and we were forced to walk in it. Well, when we arrived at the bottom of the canyon and our little water creek met the real wash water, we were toast. The sign marking the canyon was half under water. There was no way we were moving on. The water was deep and moving swiftly. We’ll hunker down for the night and hope we can get through tomorrow. Lost Canyon Flooded Signpost Revised

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