Sunday, May 18, 2014

Capitol Reef

“A man on foot, on horseback or on a bicycle will see more, feel more, enjoy more in one mile than the motorized tourists can in a hundred miles.” 
                                    --Edward Abbey

 So your wife has a broken collar bone, you students are all about to turn in their finals, and you just got word that Grandma might not make it through the weekend? What do you do? Well, if you are me and the boys and our exchange student, Naoto, you head to Capitol Reef for the weekend.  I don't think we would have gone if Naoto wasn't scheduled to go back to Japan the following week, but he was and we had a friend's cabin scheduled and the boys had been looking forward to the trip for weeks, so Melissa's sisters came to our house in Springville and stayed with her and the little cousins while we spent Thursday night - Saturday afternoon in red rock country.

Climbing on rocks.  This is what we did the whole weekend. Even when we were on a trail the boys stopped at every big rock or outcropping to climb up.  Only occasionally did they strike a pose.

We packed lunches each day and brought water and snacks and the boys carried their own gear and didn't complain a bit. (okay, maybe a tiny bit on the last hike when i wouldn't let the stop every two minutes to throw rocks, or climb higher up the hill off the trail after we'd already gone way off it and had to get back to the car, but really 959 of the trip was fuss free and we had a really great time).

“Men come and go, cities rise and fall, whole civilizations appear and disappear-the earth remains, slightly modified. The earth remains, and the heartbreaking beauty where there are no hearts to break” --Edward Abbey

 We had pancakes and sausage for breakfast on Friday morning and we let the boys stay up crazy late both nights watching movies and eating junk (isn't that what vacation is for?). 
 On Friday we did a two two-mile hikes and on Saturday we did another two-mile hike. We hiked slot canyons and red rock ridges and saw petraglyphs and pioneer registers (and some rock graffiti, including one lady who carved her first and last name into the stone, along with the date--isn't that kind of like tagging your name on the side of a building?  Sure makes it easy for the authorities to track you down).
 You can't see Nolan very well in this picture, but those are his legs up in the pocket of the rock.

There is a certain something about red rock country that is hard to get anywhere else--a certain awareness of the age of things...of the way time builds upon itself one thin layer at a time...of the way water and wind heat and cold can whip through a valley and crumble an entire mountain.

In red rock country, as in the rest of the world, all things are working themselves to dust, but the difference is, in red rock country there's no putting on airs. The world is crumbling around itself, and that is okay. The sage brush withers, an arch falls under its own weight, the canyon walls slip slowly into rubble, and a pair of brothers step down a trail together, taking the lead from their dad, kicking rocks as they go, wearing down their own channel, slowly, in the earth. 

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