Ranger Kathryn's Arches

July 3, 2009

75 minutes at Park Avenue

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 5:25 pm


North Window at sunrise

North Window at sunrise

My first day in the field — in other words, interpreting the park for visitors.  I loaded into the government vehicle the following:  arch building blocks, moonsand, laminated pictures of lots of cool park stuff, folded handouts on cryptobiotic soil crust, four brochures about Rock Art in the area, a large sponge to demonstrate steps of arch formation, a sandwich board telling people to ask me about stuff, cool stickers for smart kids, my radio, extra battery, clicker to count people, and water bottle. 


Over the course of the next hour and quarter I feel as if I really made a difference — at least for 43 people.  I taught them why they should stay off the dirt, what the rock layers are that they could see, how arches form, how arches fall, which ones are the strongest, where to find Collared Lizards, where the nearest petroglyphs are, why the underlying salt has made Arches what it is, and how different it is from their homeland of (Denmark, India, or wherever).  It was a blast.  It was humbling when I realized I didn’t have all the answers, but I could at least say “I don’t know” with a smile.

Upon my return, my boss bumped into me and said, “Was it fantastic?”” to which I responded that fantastic was not a strong enough word.  “Good,” she concluded, “because I hope you can see our strategy here.  We get you to love this place so much that your other job pales in comparison, and then we have you hooked.  Want a Park Service job??”

Last night’s fortune in the fortune cookie said, “Accept the next proposition you hear.”  Hmmmmmmmmm….  !!

You, too, can see the Colorado River

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 8:08 am

Here is a webcam from Red Cliffs Lodge, along the stretch of the Colorado that I rafted Tuesday night.  (I would have waved, had I known there was a camera.)  See how beautiful this river is!


Note, however, the choking vegetation spilling over the banks.  That is a non-native tree called Tamarisk that is an exotic from the Mediterranean.  It is wreaking havoc with the ecosystem, traveling up to 12 miles per year from wherever it becomes established.  The Tamarisk beetle, its only foe, has been imported and released.  Time will tell the story…

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