Utah Report Two: Friday

We traveled on Wednesday. We went through a spring blizzard (well, there were snowflakes falling at the top of the pass) on our way south. I had the GPS going, and it told us approximate altitudes. We found beautiful scenery everywhere we looked. And somebody in central Utah seemed to think the sagebrush was going to escape. There were miles of fences along the highway, with absolutely no sign of animal life anywhere.

We stayed in Moab that night and made that the base of operations for a couple days:

False Advertising

While Kathy insisted on standing near cliff edges yesterday, I thought I'd take one of the moderate hikes here at Canyonlands National Park. The day before, I walked the Park Avenue trail in Arches National Park, and that was a real hoot. But apparently "moderate" has a different meaning in National Parks than in real life. The elevation difference for the Neck Springs walk was the same as for Park Avenue at 300 feet, so I felt comfortable. What I didn't realize was that the 300 foot ascent was all at once and up a wall of rock! Well, I made it--but in the process, I severely injured my body's largest organ: the skin. My extended forehead is extremely red this morning; in fact, I've gone to level two reaction, with fever this morning. No blisters, however, so I feel fine. Just hot to the touch!

By the way, if the National Parks had asked me, I'd have suggested they name the rock surfaces that are exposed something like "permanent rock cover" or "non-erosive rock" or "feel-safe-when-you-stand-or-climb-on-it rock" or anything but "sliprock." As I was scaling that rock face yesterday, that horrid name kept coming to mind. (So okay, the rock certainly wasn't sheer, but it was pitched a lot steeper than my roof--which I'm not too keen on scaling, either!)

Oh--and the stars are brilliantly clear in these parts.

E-mail response:

  • The saddest part of the whole experience is that I'd run out of film before I got to the rock face. And Kathy and I had gone to separate parts of the park for this experience: She went to the cliff edges and I went for a moderate (!) hike. But it's true, I tell you! It's all true!
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