Ranger Kathryn's Arches

May 4, 2011

Terrible, horrible, no good…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 10:20 pm
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It was a perfect day. Tricia and I were hiking through Eagle Park, the remote corner of Arches, looking for raptor nests. Everything about this spring day was exceptional, even though we couldn’t find eagles. We found petroglyphs, an ancient archeological site, exceptional wildflowers blooming, bobcat tracks, a prairie falcon, a red-tailed hawk, a kestrel. Just being out on the search made the day a complete joy.

La Sal Mountains framed by the Marching Men

And then I lost the park’s GPS.

It is an old and well-used one, loaded with waypoints for every single raptor nest in the park, as well as the 45 flags for the breeding bird census, numerous archeological sites, parking areas, and routes. It is the brains of the whole bird operation. And it fell out of my pocket today.

We spent an hour using Tricia’s newly-learned tracking skills (to search for lost people) retracing our every step. If it had dropped into a sandy wash we would have found it. If it slipped into the morass of tumbleweed, we certainly gave it our best college try, but no glint of plastic could be seen anywhere.

My boss couldn’t have been more kind. She did not utter one negative word to me, nor scold, nor even imply that I should have been more careful. I was the one beating myself up, knowing exactly what I ought to have done differently, wishing I could turn back the clock to our lunch stop when I last had it in my hand.

I’m ready to buy the park a new one, and spend my own free time entering a few hundred latitude and longitude numbers by hand. But still… it hurts to know that my carelessness is behind it all.

Leave a comment: Have you ever lost anything of great importance?

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