2019 Fall Gateway

mcaywood

Rainbow from page 15

just one of the 'instruments' that were playing. Crickets

were punctuating the sound with their contribution.

The sound of the creek was the percussion section in

the sound of water gently flowing over rocks serving as

background 'beat'. The 'orchestra' was mesmerizing. At

first my fellow campers offered their own track with their

camp stories. I found that by moving around along the

creek, the various 'tracks' of sound changed with the frog

sounds becoming louder, the further away from human

voices I went.

It bad been a long, strenuous day and as I listened to

the frogs, I was grateful

for the opportunity to

have gone on this hike.

Grateful to have seen

such incredible scenery.

Grateful that nothing

bad happened. Grateful

for my new friends.

The camp felt a lot like

a river camp that one

might find along the

Colorado River or any

of the other wet canyons

of the Colorado

Plateau. We hung out

and talked for a while

before fatigue took over

and it was time to fall

asleep, looking at the

star-filled sky.

The last day proved

to be the most windy.

We packed up camp

quickly and finished

breakfast. We all knew

that today would be the

easiest backpacking day and the day we would see Rainbow

Bridge. We only had three miles to cover and several

hours til our rendezvous with another friend with a

boat to take us back to Antelope Point Marina.

We hiked down the canyon. Not too far, one in our

group noticed a small 'tub' of water in the creek. Even

though we hadn't gone long, the idea of getting wet was

enticing. Hesitating for a while, we finally decided to

cool off. Good choice, I thought, as we carefully let ourselves

into the water. The water was perfect. A little

cold, to preclude sudden immersion, and didn't take long

to get used to. Wish we had known about it yesterday!

We continued following the trail and the canyon, stopping

at the site of an old cowboy camp. Above the camp

was a tall and deep alcove. Some in the group scrambled

inside the alcove. Others just relaxed and enjoyed the

scene. Throughout the hike, we saw various man-made

structures. Some appeared to be native sheep camps.

At last, the edge of the stone rainbow came into view.

Just a portion of it but it was unmistakable. Before long,

we crossed the fence with the National Park Service sign

marking the official Monument boundary. It had been

a long time since I had seen Rainbow Bridge and never

got to see it appear from the upstream, sunnier side.

When so near, it doesn't seem like the US Capitol or even

most of the Statue of

Liberty could fit underneath,

but I don't

doubt it. I remember

the day when it wasn't

a long walk from the

boat dock to be able

to get a view of the

bridge. The waters of

Lake Powell used to be

under the bridge. Today,

some thirty years

later, the trail from the

bridge is over a mile

long and it seemed to

be the longest of the

entire trip.

We enjoyed the moment

of being at Rainbow

Bridge. The ravens

were sailing

through the canyon.

The canyon flowed water

and formed a variety

of pools. The

winds had died down. There were very few others. It

was peaceful. As if blessed, we had beauty all around

us for our entire trip. The Bridge still is as impressive as

ever. A near-perfect half circle, connected on one side to

a cliff.

Once on the boat, refreshments in hand, the ride was

a bit bumpy with a lot of white caps on the water. Our

friend's boat cut through the water like a knife. The

wind that woke us up this morning had just increased,

foretelling a storm passing through. Luckily we had

excellent weather for the three days. The next day, it

rained.

22 Gateway to Canyon Country

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