Ranger Kathryn's Arches

July 21, 2009

seen on a hauling truck in Moab

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 8:12 am

“To be used only for radioactive material,” it said on the side of the truck driving by me.  Great.

fleeing felon foiled by ecosystem

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 7:49 am

I am required to carry a radio with me each time I am out in the field. It’s a safety thing. 2 pm Friday afternoon at Park Avenue, the radio waves came alive with squawking and chatter at about the time I saw two Ranger vehicles (that is, Law Enforcement) race northward with lights and sirens. I couldn’t make out any of the code words the dispatcher seemed to be using, and besides, I was there to teach my visitors about birds. But there was a LOT of radio traffic. I turned the volume down.

Next day I ran into one of the guys I knew could tell me something. “What was all that radio chatter about yesterday?” I inquired. He leaned forward and said quietly, “Fleeing felon.” “In the park?!?!” “We didn’t exactly know where he was, so UT highway patrol asked for our assistance.” A bit unsettling, not knowing where the felon was, I thought to myself.

What had happened was that a routine traffic stop on the freeway exit up at the north end of the park (no access into park) found a buttload of drugs, and the driver fled on foot into the desert. Grand Co. Sheriff, UT highway patrol, and Arches law enforcement folks joined together to find him. He went into hiding, and even with a helicopter to search the slot canyons, was not found. After five hours of searching, the Arches LE people were allowed to return to their former duties, because the guy was not a serial killer and posed no threat.

At 9:30 pm, a dehydrated individual walked into a gas station and asked for a drink of water. He was arrested and jailed. Don’t you love it when the ecosystem does what all our technology fails to do???

good hiding places

good hiding places, but no water

well-cooked bacon, raw eggs

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 7:31 am
Blithely peppering the eggs that were not cooking.  (Note one escapee from griddle.)

Blithely peppering the eggs that were not cooking. (Note one escapee from griddle.)

The perfect camping morning deserves the perfect breakfast.  As we were going to conclude our trip on Sunday morn, we thought that coffee and bacon and eggs and blueberries and yogurt sounded excellent.  Only the best, to celebrate our fine camping trip.  The smell of sizzling bacon wafting through our site was likely enough to wake the downwind neighbors.  After the bacon was done I put on another liter of water to boil for the French press, as my friends couldn’t do with just one cup each.

Cracking the eggs onto the greasy griddle was very satisfying, as I watched the whites quickly bubble and congeal.  Five eggs, happy eggs, yummy eggs.  M-m-m-m!  We waited, they drank their coffee, we commented on the sunrise and the sleeping-under-the-stars experiment, and … the eggs weren’t cooking.  Turned the heat up.  No heat.  No gas.  The last liter of coffee water had used up every precious molecule of LP in the small green tank, and my spare tank was… in my apartment, 18 miles south.

“Quick!  Turn them over!  They might have a chance of cooking on the hot griddle,” Kathy suggested hungrily.  I complied.  There was no turning these puppies, as they needed another minute or two to solidify.

You know, there is something refreshing about having friends who can laugh at a bum rap.  They blamed the gas shortage on their coffee addiction, and we pulled out the cheese and crackers to supplement the nice crisp bacon.

wind scorpion

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 7:11 am

Wind ScorpionAn entomologist brought a mason jar to show to our day campers, with this wind scorpion in it. It was only about an inch long and lived in his house. “Wind” because they are fast, “scorpion” because they dine like scorpions even though they have no stinging tail. Not venomous, but their bite does pinch. A small praying mantis dropped into the mason jar was just about caught in the air and devoured within minutes. They liquify their prey and suck the juices out. All that was left of the mantis was a small pile of debris, or maybe mantis dust.

For a bit more information on wind scorpions, I’ve prepared a second post — just click on Wind Scorpion 2.

I was folding laundry last night and grabbed a towel and shook it out. From the corner of my eye I saw a dark bit hit the floor and scurry reclusively underneath a map. I instinctively stepped on it (probably not the most ranger-ish thing to do) and I will take it in to work today where we have a dissecting scope. I want to identify it. Knowing what lives with me is calming.

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