– Paria Canyon – 2 –
Outside of the dramatic narrow parts of the Paria Canyon, in the open valley, we found the other more friendly side of this river.
The water was still running.
We parked our rig under a lovely group of ancient cottonwood trees. Every afternoon there was a fantastic show of more thunderstorms brooding and building; it came down with vengeance left and right, but we miraculously never got wet at this magical place.
Every other day we planned to break camp and travel on but ended up staying, it was simply too beautiful to leave. The river rose and fell, it mumbled and murmured in the night, chunks of earth fell off the bank, and it gradually changed its course.
In the morning we did our Yoga sessions on the soft, wet sand. No one ever bothered us. (It’s BLM land, fairly unregulated, there’s still plenty of it in states like Utah and Nevada.)
We watched the ants rebuild their houses after the flood.
Beautiful beetles were living under the cottonwoods.
A huge bee swarm was living in one of those trees, they didn’t bother us either.
A serious-minded snake came checking us out too.
We walked out into the neighborhood, the ground was still muddy in places, our shoes were always a mess.
It’s May, it’s spring, the wild flowers are in their short ecstasy before the heat comes.
Beaver Tail, and a bee loaded with pollen rummaging around in the flower.
Who cares what the names of all the flowers are?
Up the canyon we find bizarre rock formations once cut out by the river and then further eroded by wind and rain.
These things are extremely fragile and sensitive. In order to not leave traces we first clean our shoes from all the mud.
Hard to imagine how this all was carved out. There must be chemicals in the rock that seem to drip down like paint out of the pores.
Many spider live here.
This is the craziest canyon wall. It’s probably wind that has sculptured these rocky slopes. You can see the multitude of layers of sediments and then – who knows what the cause was – another set of layers above in a slightly different direction of orientation.
In the afternoon the clouds are building and thunder is rolling in the distance, but again, we never get wet.
The river has left more wonderful temporary sculptures behind. The mud is rosy and of course extremely slippery.
When it dries the surface peels off and rolls up…
… like crocodile skin.
… soon it will all become dust again and fly around until the next rain comes.
* * *
… to be continued with part 5
Klaus June 2009