“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
― Dr. Seuss
So I feel kind of bad that I talked Matt into sleeping in the car.
It was windy and cold, and the car would occasionally shake with the force of the wind, and if it weren’t for the weirdo dreams I had I would swear I didn’t sleep at all.
[Yeah. I have always had crazy vivid dreams. Sometimes I wake up and feel like the dream was more a memory. Often the dreams I have become reality.]
That aside aside, here’s what went down:
• We had a cold breakfast…cold except for the cocoa, which Matt put in our hydroflask and thence into a pack.
• I did some yoga and meditation on a cold, wide, flat rock, facing the La Sal Mountains. It was an immense moment…so calm, in spite of the wind, and so joyful!
• We hiked down into Lost Springs Canyon, following the old Jeep road. After about a mile we hit the border of Arches National Park, where all signs of trail disappeared… for good reason. The area had long been a grazing canyon, but almost 20 years ago was made part of the National Park and the grazing lease purchased by a nonprofit and donated back to the NPS. It’s not very accessible an area, there are no built or maintained trails, it is completely isolated wilderness but for the few two-legged wanderers like us who seek solitude and connection to the natural world.
• Here was our dilemma: there are so many little alcoves, intricately carved canyon walls, caves filled with secrets, hidden arches just wanting to be found… there was no way we were going to find them all!
• So we wandered up one particularly interesting canyon and discovered a myriad of treasures: tiny hoodoos, sandstone steps climbing two stories or more, and waterways carving steep and narrow slots hidden from view, and a mostly-complete deer skeleton hidden in a tree. Seriously creepy.
• At one point we just walked, hand in hand, following the winding curves of the meandering stream bed, cottonwood branches arching between us and the sky. We paused to watch an adolescent golden eagle circle above us for a few lazy moments. We picked up fascinating geologic specimens to share with each other. We were quite possibly the two most content people in the world.
• I had, of course, done enough research that I had coordinates for 3-4 arches in the area, but before we could seek them I was worn out. I’ve been battling chronic sinus infections recently and I was feeling a fever coming on. Plus, you know, lack of sleep.
Plus, you know, we just got engaged and home and bed were looking pretty amazing.
Plus, you know, recovery beer.
Plus, you know, Kang Masaman in the fridge at home…
So we hiked out and started driving.
We had another very close encounter with a full-grown golden eagle as well as a gorgeous redtail hawk. The birds were loving the wind!
The road out took us through a heavily mined area, with shafts closed off by fences
warning you to ‘Stay Out. Stay Alive.’
We made our way home at last to showers, sleep, and all the comforts of home. We called our families and told them of our engagement, and before I could get to it, my excited fiance posted it to social media…