Ranger Kathryn's Arches

November 17, 2011

Cataract Canyon 10: Final miles

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 7:54 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Leaving. (Cue heart-rending departure music at end of "Lord of the Rings" trilogy... the score that makes even the most stalwart get all choked up)

(Continued from Cataract Canyon 9: Tracking games)

As we motored the final thirty miles toward our take-out at Hite — two shade-drenched hours during which I shivered in every layer I owned — I reviewed our memorable trip. By the numbers:

0 other humans encountered

1 supper mishap involving sand and brown rice

2 meteors

4 days wearing same red shirt

13 hours between sunsets and sunrises

15 bighorn sheep located

25 rapids run

29 degrees Fahrenheit average low temp

50 degrees Fahrenheit average high temp

73 hours from drop-off to pick-up

100 miles of Colorado River traveled

289,000 beats of my heart while falling crazily in love with this wilderness

"KB + CC"

The Black George cut the water, heading ever southward. I inhaled the canyon shadows, etched the sights in my memory, and gave silent thanks for the privilege of experiencing it. Stopping at one last beach for reconnaissance, my hand reached for a long stick; I scraped my solid feelings into the shifting sand. Cataract Canyon has my heart, forever.

10:30 a.m. -- Mirrored surface of Lake Powell captures sandstone reflection.


  1. When next you have the opportunity, write your message in the water itself and observe your response as it is accepted by Nature.

    Comment by Leroque — November 17, 2011 @ 9:21 am | Reply

    • I erased it before our boat pushed off. All that needed to have been said was said. I never thought about writing on water… the ultimate ephemeral medium.

      Comment by Kathryn Burke — November 17, 2011 @ 10:23 am | Reply

  2. Once you’ve explored a good selection of Lake Powell’s side canyons, you’ll be ready for a nice three week trip on the Grand Canyon.

    Comment by midsummerman — November 17, 2011 @ 12:36 pm | Reply

    • That is HIGH on my bucket list… it is a life-changer, according to those who have done it.

      Comment by Kathryn Burke — November 17, 2011 @ 1:19 pm | Reply

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