Tuesday, June 15, 2010

And Then...


Which didn't last, and probably shouldn't of... Though the Dinosaur Museum was pretty nice.

It became necessary to Travel across big roads

And small ones

Across the Mancos Shale once again

While the spring rains soaked the desert and blew off hats as I headed south in search of work and an answer to the freedom I now found myself overburdened with. I went to the Moab Valley

Where it was Spring

And enjoyed the sunset

I left the steep cliffs behind

And passed the Horses

To climb the high mountains outside of town

The were steep and rugged

But I found a place to camp on them

I could see the Henry Mountains, other ancient laccoliths, on the Horizon

And the sun came up again

And I was asked to do a 5 day Green River trip

Which had arduous wind the first two days that capsized one boat and shipwrecked a few more- pinned like gnats on a winshield against a sandstone cliff- while 2 foot whitecapped swells of Green River blew right over the canyon rim. But our team pulled together and rallied despite adversity.

I did my talk on the history of the Uranium Rush and the Charlie Steen story. We did the Keg Spring Canyon hike and found petrified wood. The next day we did the Hey Joe Canyon hike and found the old uranium mine there. Old machinery was scattered about and while the shaft enterances had been filled it seems the tops of the fill had been scattered away and one could enter if one wished, (though we didn't).

We set a company record for tips.

At Moab I found the hostel a mess so I cleaned the kitchen. I cleaned the drying rack and the surfaces and the appliances and the shelves and the drawers and every pot and pan and piece of silverware. They offered to let me stay here for free all summer in exchange for keeping the kitchen clean. So I took them up on it and here I am.

The Hostellians are a nice lot. A few permanent residents. Always a hike or river trip or swim at the lake or something to get involved with. Ken took us on a tour of petroglyphs along Kane Creek Road

and we saw them....

Some were very old and weathered

Some were very well endowed

This one evokes mystery some think it is a woolly mammoth but others are not sure

A snake and... a decapitation? Or death by snake?

A birth, and... the death of a Spaniard?

The kokopelli figure

Symbols of different tribes coming together, staying for a while, and then departing into different groups?

We all took pictures

And played guitar and drums

While we waited for the BASE jumpers to hurry up and throw themselves off the famous Tombstone Cliff for our amusement

I also became a shuttle driver and part time river guide for two different companies in Moab. The best shuttle drive is to Hite. Via I-70 and Hanksville. Geologically interesting and very scenic. The boat ramp at Lake Powell

I got to swim for a few hours

They were sold out of inner tubes but I bought a boat finally and took it down the 13 mile Moab Daily section of the Colorado River. My boat is pretty good looking.

Though I appreciated doing it with a friend who had a catacraft so when I got the mild hypothermia from the water temp I could get into his boat to dry out and warm up. Then when the rapids happened again I could get back on the dog and run them. Unfortunately the guy who takes pictures of rafters and then sells them didn't take my picture so I'll have to plan that a bit better next time.

On Thursday I was sent to my next river trip to Craig where puffy white clouds contrasted favorably with the rain drenched land of sage and grass and coal power plants- now green and lush.

But the storm was brewing. We paddled in the rain. And in the Hail. And we camped on an Island with the cows.

We got back to the ranch and unloaded. I camped there. The ranch is desolate but pretty. Near the Book Cliffs.

You climb the small hills of Cretaceous-Sea deposited Mancos Shale and get here.

You can lie down there like in Wayne's World and see the airplanes land, as if they were landing on you. The landing strip for the Grand Junction Airport is just off the frame to the left.

Old bits of machinery was scattered about and as night fell I took pictures

There were horses and I fed them extra carrots from the trip

In the morning the 3 days of rain and clouds seemed to lift and things were still very photogenic.

I did a trip that day with Colorado Discover Ability that takes people with disabilities on river trips, and also teaches them to ski in the winter. Seemed like a nice group of people I look forward to working with them more this summer.

I am feeling pretty good and I like wearing this hat a lot.