Tag Archives: Red Canyon

Staircase to Heaven, Part 3: Photos

Happy New Year!

Below are some photos from the Grand Staircase area of the Colorado Plateau.  Plant photos to come soon, and then, finally, words.

Kolob Canyons, Zion National Park

Kolob Canyons, Zion National Park

Altar of Sacrifice, Zion National Park

Altar of Sacrifice, Zion National Park

Trail to Angel's Landing, Zion National Park

Trail to Angel’s Landing, Zion National Park

Zion near the East Entrance

Zion near the East Entrance

Wahweap Creek, Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument

Wahweap Creek, Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument

Wahweap Hoodoos. GSENM

Wahweap Hoodoos, GSENM

Moccasin Mountain Dinosaur Tracksite, GSENM

Moccasin Mountain Dinosaur Tracksite, GSENM

dinosaur track, Moccasin Mountain Dinosaur Tracksite

dinosaur track, Moccasin Mountain Dinosaur Tracksite

Vermillion Cliffs, Kanab, GSEENM

Vermillion Cliffs, Kanab, GSENM

 Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest

Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest

The Needles, Canyonlands National Park

The Needles, Canyonlands National Park

Southeastern Utah

Southeastern Utah

Natural Bridges National Monument

Natural Bridges National Monument

Hovenweep National Monument

Hovenweep National Monument

 

Staircase to Heaven, Part 2

Colorado River (1973): Jackass Rapids/Jackass in the Rapids *

In the summer of 1973, one of my former eighth grade students (from Page, AZ) invited me to hike down to the Colorado River from near the Bitter Springs Arizona Highway Department outpost where she lived. This would be a walk down to the first rapids within what is generally considered the beginning of the Grand Canyon, not far below Navajo Bridge that spans Marble Canyon. My student said the locals called the area Jackass Rapids. I was a fair-to-middling red rock hiker back then, but it took fancy footwork to keep up with the sure-footed young girl. As my memory of the day comes into clearer focus, I think this trip might have been the girl’s answer to the environmental living elective (see Grand Staircase to Heaven, Part 1). She had not participated in the class, perhaps because, being of local pioneer stock, she already knew much more than I did about the local environment, or maybe it was just that she was already in band during the elective hour.

In any case, the sky was perfect blue and the sun was scorching and I already had sunburn from some recent hikes in Zion National Park. When we finally got down to the Colorado River, I did what I always did back then—I jumped in the water. The air temperature was probably in the mid-90s, the river was around 40°, and my back was already burnt. The resulting pain was intense and I felt like I was the jackass the place was named after. For several years afterwards my arms carried the marks of the sunburn and nowadays in the shower, I wince at cold water on my back. My memories of those Arizona and Utah times, though, remain bright: sky blue, rock red, pine green, and Colorado River brown.

sky blue, North Rim, Arizona

sky blue, North Rim, Arizona

 

rock red, Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest, Uta

rock red, Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest, Utah

pine green, Singletree Campground, Fishlake National Forest, Utah

pine green, Singletree Campground, Fishlake National Forest, Utah

Colorado River brown, Kings Bottom Campground (near Moab, Utah)

Colorado River brown, Kings Bottom Campground (near Moab, Utah)

*(adapted from Losing It: Deconstructing a Life, unpublished work © Lynda Terrill, all rights reserved)

Road Trip 2014: The Road Goes…

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say

J.R.R Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Kolob Canyons, Zion National Park, UT

Kolob Canyons, Zion National Park, UT

 

I am here to tell you that, just as Bilbo said, the road does go ever on and on. Furthermore, as he implied (see above), this road goes on both literally and figuratively.

In our travels I sometimes wear a maroon hooded sweater that makes me look like one of the dwarfs in The Hobbit (not, I note, at all like a hobbit wearing a hooded Elven cloak from Lorien).

maroon hooded sweater with orange knapsack

maroon hooded sweater with orange knapsack

Before I go farther on this path: Yes, I am one of those The Lord of the Rings junkies, common in my generation. I first read the trilogy when I was seventeen and I have read it at least eight times since. Two of Tom’s and my happiest parenting times were when we read LOTR aloud first to our older children and then later to our youngest.* I am going on about all of this because, as a supposed  “literature” person, I feel a bit defensive about reading the trilogy eight times instead of ever wanting to go back to The Magic Mountain or In the Heart of the Heart of the Country.

I am speaking literally and figuratively here:

  • I always traveled with a dear companion, who, day after day, kindly hurt my broken wrist–my P.T. exercises–so I would heal, and then warmed my side of the winter bed for me.

    Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest, UT

    Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest, UT

  • Sometimes the road was cold and lonely. I remembered the dead and worried about the living.

    winter road

    winter road

  • Sometimes the trail was alight with the sunlight glinting on the wings of hundreds of butterflies freshly transformed in the pine woods of the high country. I didn’t manage to capture a photo of this, but the magic remains within us.

    Glacier Trail, Great Basin National Park

    Glacier Trail, Great Basin National Park

  • Sometimes the path seemed dangerous—high and winding and steep—but I think it was only the fear within me.
LaVerkin Creek Trail, Zion National Park, UT

LaVerkin Creek Trail, Zion National Park, UT

  • Sometimes we joined family and old friends along the road or met new friends–warmth and safety amid the cold, the heat, and the winding road.

*In my family, I am famous for always crying over the death of Boromir. I want to be a hobbit—merry, strong, and steadfast—but I am more like the frail man of Gondor (inside, of course, Boromir was a doughty warrior on the outside).

Beach Road, Meher Spiritual Center, Myrtle Beach, SC

Beach Road, Meher Spiritual Center, Myrtle Beach, SC

More to come, I think.

What I See Close to the Ground

adybug on purple hyacinth bean vine, Charlottesville

ladybug on purple hyacinth bean vine, Charlottesville

Myrtle Beach, SC #3

Myrtle Beach, SC #3

New Orleans

New Orleans

Mi Tierra, San Antonio

Mi Tierra, San Antonio

Saigon Bowl, Denver

Saigon Bowl, Denver

flax, Denver Botanic Gardens

flax, Denver Botanic Gardens

ice plant, Denver Botanic Gardens

ice plant, Denver Botanic Gardens

ravens on the South Rim

ravens on the South Rim

horned toad #2, North Rim

horned toad #2, North Rim

Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest

Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest

roses in the Kolob

roses in the Kolob

Wheeler Peak, Great Basin N.P.

Wheeler Peak, Great Basin N.P.

Lukens Lake, Yosemite

Lukens Lake, Yosemite

fritillary, Yosemite N.P.

fritillary, Yosemite N.P.

Sequoia feet

Sequoia feet

Coming soon: sentences and paragraphs.