(Continued from Cataract Canyon 2: Flatwater Beauty)
After a productive day tracking radio-collared bighorn sheep and successfully collecting pellets for DNA study, the clouds began assembling to the west and a chill wind picked up. My boat-mates conferred about the most protected campsite downriver and we motored to Spanish Bottom, a couple of miles south of the Confluence. As we rounded a bend in the river, a jagged row of delicate rock pillars high on a cliff poked into the graying sky. I looked questioningly at Bill. “The Doll House,” he informed. Indeed, one could imagine a young giant in the Maze District of Canyonlands playing with these dolls of stone. I was entranced.
Our campsite was thick with invasive tamarisk trees which I don’t ordinarily enjoy; at this hour the pesky plants took on the benevolent appearance of a protective shield against the oncoming weather. Anchoring and putting up tents as quickly as possible, we got our rain gear on and suppers heated just in the nick of time. Miso soup never tasted so good. A cup of blueberry tea doubled the inner warmth. Dark — and sleep — came quickly, with only intermittent spurts of rain through the night. The peculiar squeak of branch rubbing against branch, rare in a desert, intruded on my dreams.
— Continued at this link —