Ranger Kathryn's Arches

May 18, 2010

My new secret gig

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 4:34 pm

OK, I had to sign a confidentiality agreement. You’ll need to imagine the missing pieces.

A certain well-known Movie Company is making a film on location in the Moab area, needing a place that resembles Mars. (Have you been to Moab? It does resemble Mars.) In a remote section of wilderness half hour north of here there is a “campground” (if one can call it that) run by the Bureau of Land Management. It has no toilets, no picnic tables, and one must drive across a shallow creek multiple times to access it. (Poor Olive. She didn’t know what she was getting into.) Said Movie Company will be filming some horses-running-through-canyons scenes up there next week and they needed someone to squat, occupy, hold a couple of sites for them in the interim so they’d be available for all the equipment and machinery and wranglers and caterers and what-not. And they are paying me — ME! — a tidy sum of XX dollars per night (sorry, can’t publish, per contract) (but it is more than my ranger job pays) (OK, those two digits are different and they are greater than or equal to 7 or 5, not necessarily but possibly in that order) to hang out and camp in the wilderness! I have another squatter buddy in the next campsite 150 yards up the creek, so we are in it together. There is a list of alternates dozens long in case I am unable to fulfill my duties for any reason, but somehow *I* got the job. Wow. Nice.

Downside: gritty sandy blowy. Mesh tent lets it all in. This morning’s collection: one cup of sand in tent (sleeping bag, pillow, etc). No decent trees for a hammock. No cell phone reception.

Upside: Wilderness. Solitude. Crickets. Frogs. Wildflowers. Martian scenery. Dostoevsky. No cell phone reception. A week to think, read, pray, write, savor the remoteness. First paycheck since December.

I’ll get back in to Moab every few days for shower and email and phone and text messages, but won’t be writing much and certainly am not allowed to post photos. Adieu for the time being. I’m going to the back of beyond.

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