Ranger Kathryn's Arches

August 21, 2013

Why I love the desert, in five sentences and seven photos

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 3:26 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

“Looking out over the pure sweep of seamless desert, I am surprised to realize that the easy landscapes stifle me—closed walls of forests, ceilings of boughs, neat-trimmed lawns, and ruffled curtains of trees hide the soft horizons. I prefer the absences and the big empties, where the wind ricochets from sand grain to mountain. I prefer the crystalline dryness and an unadulterated sky strewn from horizon to horizon with stars. I prefer the raw edges and the unfinished hems of the desert landscape. Desert is where I want to be when there are no more questions to ask.”             — Ann Zwinger, Mysterious Lands.


Today’s photos were from a 24-hour escape to the Needles district of Canyonlands National Park where Chris and I camped, climbed, and explored a side canyon whose dinosaur tracks remained unrevealed but whose many petroglyphs enthralled us. I share them with the hope that you will glimpse the beauty of this area for yourself and make plans to visit if you are able. But beware; the bulldog grip this place exerts on your heart is irreversible.



  1. I’m headed back to Bullfrog, UT for my second season with the Park Service at Lake Powell. We’ll be neighbors!

    Comment by Keith Silva — August 21, 2013 @ 3:43 pm | Reply

  2. I’ve heard people say ‘There’s nothing out there.” The ‘nothing that is out there’ is the most fulfilling landscape I know. I see you feel similar also. 🙂

    Comment by The Laughing Nanny — August 21, 2013 @ 5:58 pm | Reply

  3. Kathryn, your photos are making me look forward to swinging through Moab this fall on our way to Jon and my next adventure – campground hosting/Interp volunteers at Mojave National Preserve. It ain’t Utah, but it’s a desert park at least! Maybe we’ll get a chance to see you when we roll through! We leave Montana September 28th or 29th, and we don’t have to be in Mojave until the 12th of October, so the plan is to spend a few days visiting friends at Arches 🙂

    Comment by oursunnyday — August 22, 2013 @ 11:00 am | Reply

    • That is PRIME time in southeast UT and you should definitely spend time in ARCH and CANY! The weather will be magnificent! Hope to see you soon!

      Comment by Kathryn Burke — September 7, 2013 @ 7:47 am | Reply

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