Bryce Canyon, UT
The overcast and intermittent rain in the low southwestern deserts made for days of frustration with little end in sight. The system was stalled, no breaks in the canopy, no good for photography. I laid out my Indian Country map and plotted a course north, where maybe I’d find snow in the higher deserts. It bore out. I moved as snow moved, through Zion and on to the Paunsaugunt Plateau, where I arrived at Bryce as the storm petered out. I followed someone else’s trail through the forest thinking I had a shortcut to the Rim Trail, and continued on like an idiot after it was obvious they had turned back, snow to my knees and looking for oxygen in my exertion at 8000 feet. Thankfully I brought micro spikes, and needed them when I reached the beaten path up there, frozen and refrozen, and under the fresh inches today. There is clarity in the air after rain or snow, or so it seems. I’ve heard that the precipitation picks up dust particles, that some kind of ionization takes place, cleaning the air and increasing visibilty. Is it what we see, or how we see it? I see chaos, under a cover of snow. Truth is a hostage of chaos, visibility is the direction your gut tells you to go. We learn through a lens of how we came to here. Too often we forget the journey in our haste to the end of it. An undecided sky let the afternoon sun peekaboo features in the landscape. It dappled the horizon in degrees of shadow and light. Beyond Boat Mesa, Canaan and Tablet Top, some 30 miles away, were alight with rising mists where perhaps the storm still brewed. Beyond them is where I will head tomorrow.