Ranger Kathryn's Arches

May 22, 2011

Desert precipitation

Sunset from our campsite in The Needles

Getting poured on by a spring storm is something everybody should have the privilege of experiencing. I remember as a young girl skipping down the pot-holed dirt road during rainstorms, making sure I planted my feet in every possible puddle to make the greatest splash. Simple pleasures are the best.

Tara wants to taste fresh pothole rainwater. I pass. She says it is delicious.

The 50% chance of rain was clearly about to become 100% as Tara and I hiked the Slickrock Trail in the Needles district of Canyonlands NP. No matter. Raincoats are our friends. Storms not only cleared the trails of riff-raff other hikers, but they gave us the opportunity to watch a tongue of water creeping its gravity-led way on sandstone toward every pothole and pour-off in its path. Gathering tributary rivulets as it flowed, it begged to be dammed or diverted by hasty human efforts.

Chef Kathryn makes sure the supper doesn't burn. Leftovers provide a filling breakfast.

And then comes the gorgeous after-rain experience. West winds swept the sky clean in the evening, and the freshly-scrubbed atmosphere yielded a clear and memorable view of our near-wilderness surroundings. Our bellies were comfortably filled with a delicious concoction of sauteed garlic, onion, potato, zucchini, egg and cheese on tortillas.

Sage releases its aroma when wet; my world looked, smelled, and felt exhilarating. The campfire only added to the wonderfulness as we stared wordlessly into the flames with thankful hearts before crawling into the tent.

I slept the longest, deepest, most satisfying sleep in months.

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To see ten additional photos, click on this Facebook album. Yikes, I can’t make the link work, no matter what I do. Will come back later to attempt a fix.

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