Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Up or Down?

Lightening sparked our debate as to where to backpack last week. Canyons or the mountains? We could wear our shorts through the night in the desert canyons. Recent rains would have filled water-pockets for all our water needs. Cottonwood trees are in full-leaf and would shade us. Those pesky fears of flash-floods made us look upward toward the high mountains. Water is plentiful in the alpine lakes and streams. The nights are cold enough to zap the blood-sucking critters. It would be a relief to be chilled after the desert heat. Then I thought of the time my hair stood up during a close thunder and lightening storm in the high mountains. No place to hide except under a tall, scorched dead Ponderosa tree.
We compromised and backpacked on the head of a narrow canyon. We hiked across slickrock a couple of miles and erected our tent on a sand island under a pinion pine tree. We heard and watched thunderclouds burst all around us. South, Lake Powell was was having its own electric light parade. The city of Escalante was shrouded in gray sheets of rain, hidden in it's own drama. Big anvil clouds swallowed up the Henry Mountains. We toasted to our clear donut hole sky and watched a rainbow travel through time.