Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Planes of Heaven

Virgin River Cattails. 4x5" Polaroid.

Or is it plains? I was in Springdale UT and talking to a young man about the name Zion and what it meant, and he told me that like Kanab, it was one of the "plains" of Heaven. Ok, well, ... that works ok for me. Is that what Moab is -- One of the plains of Heaven? Moses went from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo. God swept Elijah from the plains of Moab to Heaven in a chariot. It seems we might be close. close enough to get swept up.

The countdown has started. I am packing and making the final arrangements for ten days in canyon country, in the plains of Heaven. I'll be two days in Zion, two in Paria -- featuring bucksin gulch and a place called "the wave", and 3 in Canyonlands NP near the confluence of the Green and the Colorado Rivers, in Abbey's country -- in Chesler Park and at Druid Arch. I'll wear my Colorado River hat all red and brown with red rock like a badge of honor. I'll pack extra light and take the mini tripod, and dry bag everything like I was a river veteran. I've been rereading Abbey, and thinking of the river spirits. These are seriously classic wilderness hikes, in the hallowed canyons -- the very cathedrals of Heaven.

The quicksand laden, wet, impassable without swimming, magically lit, cathedrals of Heaven. Watch your step, and don't believe everything you read. There's a place referred to as the "Cesspool," that I will get to swim in. Cathedrals of Heaven.

It's been raining here, it's suddenly fall. There a wet and chill in the air, and now I worry about exposure and being wet in September in Utah. And that it might rain this week or last in Southern Utah, making me really earn my Slot canyon badge by swimming and by it freezing and me floatin' my pack across a still pool ... or two.

Falls in Zion Canyon. Digital Photograph

In my mind I am both ready ... and not.


alberto said...

That looks abslutely fascinating. I'm tterribly envious.

Eclectchick said...

You go on the coolest travels of anyone I know. And that's sayin' somethin!