Ranger Kathryn's Arches

October 4, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 10:39 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Having just unloaded my life’s belongings into my new house, girlfriend Lauren and I headed to the canyon rim on a 3.6-mile hike. I was grateful for her help moving, as I was recovering from a viral illness and didn’t have all my strength back yet. No matter how minimalist one is, suitcases and boxes still get heavy.

In the 40 minutes it took to reach Murphy Point, we tackled a wide range of pertinent topics: grad school, love, job searches, personal idiosyncrasies, future dreams, and why men are the way they are. The last was the easiest.

Looking down a couple thousand feet from the mesa top at Island in the Sky District, Canyonlands NP

Of a sudden, without warning, we found ourselves standing at the precipice. A gouge in the earth stepped down a thousand feet to the handsome White Rim, then another thousand to the Green River. Two mountain ranges, the Abajos and the Henrys, presented themselves for our orientation and delight. Not a sound — and I mean not a single sound — distracted us.

In the effortless understanding between good friends, there was no need to talk. The magnificent vista commanded all our senses. Sprawled on the October-warmed rock for an extended time, Lauren eventually found simple/profound words to break the silence: “It’s calming.” Her summation confirmed the wellspring of peace that I felt last year at Canyonlands. Wide open spaces, horizons eighty miles rather than four miles off, big views… these calm the savage beast, the tumultuous mind, the searching heart.

I am glad to be back.


  1. as always, you take me on your journey with you and your phrasings, word choices and photos are perfectly magnificent and perfectly perfect.

    Comment by Kate Kresse — October 4, 2011 @ 10:45 pm | Reply

    • Gracias, amiga.

      Comment by Kathryn Burke — October 5, 2011 @ 9:07 pm | Reply

  2. My first hike to Murphy point was alone. I sat and looked out at the beauty. Something did not seen quite right to me and it was the complete silence. I had not experienced complete silence before, ever. There was always a bird chirp or wind in the trees or grass in the woods of Minnesota. I was uneasy. I remember waking up in the night my first summer at ISKY to look out and see the bright stars and experience complete silence of the night. Again that is not what I grew up with. The silence woke me up. As time progressed I learned how the complete silence also quieted my soul. I miss that quiet and crave it. I became more aware of new dimensions of myself. I miss Canyonlands. I will return, when it is time. I am happy you are there. Thank you again for each time you share your experiences.

    Comment by Deb — October 5, 2011 @ 8:56 pm | Reply

    • It is disorienting, almost. Decibel levels in desert soundscapes approach the low low numbers found in recording studios… and we all know how unsettling it sounds when in a cushioned absorbent room. It is only a matter of time until that becomes one’s new ‘normal,’ and tranquility replaces vigilance. Thanks for sharing!

      Comment by Kathryn Burke — October 5, 2011 @ 9:06 pm | Reply

  3. please expand on why men are the way they are……….

    Comment by john — October 6, 2011 @ 8:39 am | Reply

    • See my reply to both you and Bill below. It’s a weak attempt to summarize a whole host of info…

      Comment by Kathryn Burke — October 6, 2011 @ 11:17 pm | Reply

  4. I second John’s request, if I may be so blunt. I don’t recall that topic being among the wide-range of issues we discussed in seven hours the next day while we drove, hiked and collected pellet samples. Oh well…good job at spotting the sheep, though!

    Comment by Bill — October 6, 2011 @ 9:38 pm | Reply

    • *SIGH* — One of my housemates (male) says that guys are simple and women are complex. Both women in the house nodded in agreement. He says that guys seem to have four basic needs: sex, sustenance, sports, and sleep. If women’s needs could be summarized with four words, I honestly don’t know what those would be… but perhaps my readers can help.

      Comment by Kathryn Burke — October 6, 2011 @ 11:26 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: