Ranger Kathryn's Arches

November 18, 2011

Bridge and winch

Find the thing that doesn’t belong.    [Extra credit for “Oh, and the anthropogenic atmospheric haze doesn’t belong.”]

(Continued from Cataract Canyon 10: Final miles)

After days in the wild, abruptly seeing a bridge ahead is brain-jarring, about as expected as spying a snowman on a beach. The sight sent me into mental contortions: “What IS that thing, and what is it doing way out here? If that’s a bridge, that’s not wilderness. If we’re not in wilderness, we’re approaching civilization. If we’re approaching civilization, that means we have to go home. If we have to go home, that’s depressing. If that’s depressing, I’ll figure out a way to do another river trip.” This all in the span of two seconds.

Mud at the Hite boat ramp sucked up the trailer and truck tires, defying every effort to remove the Black George from Lake Powell. I had the privilege of watching two professionals winch the whole thing out. I should have taken notes; one never knows when one might need such skills.

Winching 101: Rangers at work.

Muck. Stuck. Not good.

Thus ended my first Cataract Canyon adventure. Three and a half hours’ drive back to Moab delivered me, with resignation, into the arms of civilization. I chafed at its vapid embrace.

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