Ranger Kathryn's Arches

May 22, 2010

Sand in my navel

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 5:21 pm
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It can’t be helped, actually. When winds are sustained at 35 mph in the desert, even my wonderful rock wall can’t stop the incursion of sand. I am happy to report, however, that only 1/3 to 1/2 as much sand is accumulating in my tent as without the wall. Very bearable.

My thick Russian novel is my best friend just now. Sitting on my camp chair under the one small tree in my site, I look up to see the distant buttes all muted by flying sand. A 50-mph gust rises up and pushes a whirling dervish across the sandy parking area, and I squint my eyes tightly closed against the assault. There is sand in my eyes and ears, always. When I blow my nose, the boogers are sandy. I am not surprised to find sand in my navel, although I can’t tell you precisely when or how it got there. At night when I prepare for sleep, I tuck my bra in the folds of a blanket; there is just something highly unpleasant about putting on a gritty bra in the morning.

Alas, my all-time favorite chapstick (irreplaceable, to boot) has melted in my tent and the goo leaked out. My dark-chocolate-covered pomegranate seeds are stuck together. The Gatorade is at 82 degrees and doesn’t quite quench one’s thirst. My goodness… I am not complaining… but the novelty of this gig is starting to wear off. Still, paid camping is worth the discomforts!

Karen, my mate in Site 5, and I decided to tackle Professor Creek (5 or 6 miles) this morning despite the winds. I left my camera in the car on purpose, as it dislikes being pelted with sand, but I shall tell you that it was a most refreshing hike with our feet in a cold creek and our faces into the wind. The La Sal Mountains are still a bit snowy on top, and having them tower over us as we hiked was spectacular, spectacular.

Monday will be our fourth straight day of high winds. After that I’ll take some more pics and add them.

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