Life really is better Here
- Apr 20, 2013
“It’s just a bunch of rocks.”
That is what I heard a couple of times the day before I packed the three oldest, out of four, into the Jeep and drove south for what has become our annual sometime-in-spring-trip, or trips, to Capitol Reef.
This year it was a little early.
The itinerary is simple, this time even more simple because Fruita is online reservation (for good and bad), but good this time because I could leave on a Friday afternoon when the kids got out of school and not have to worry about getting a campsite before dark.
We drive down, listening to the odd, but normal, music mix.
This time it was Lord Huron, Lake Street Dive (mine), the Hamilton soundtrack and George Ezra (both my daughter), and a zombie musical thing from Disney.
The itinerary is simple.
We arrive. We camp. Take a drive in the morning and do some short hikes. Then pack a lunch and head up one of a few longer trails, find a canyon with no one around, and a bunch of rocks. I turn the kids loose for as long as they want to climb and play.
Sure, we could go somewhere else, and we have. On other trips we have tacked on extra side trips… Calf creek, or the Circle Cliffs, or some of the Swell, but the kids asked for no such thing this year. They just wanted to go and play on a few trails we have previously visited.
I started spending time trying to prove that statement wrong. “It’s just a bunch of…”
The desert in winter, even late winter without snow is a wondrous place. It really is simple. Not like spring when all of a sudden more is added to the mix. When there are budding trees, bushes, grasses growing, wildflowers, more wildlife about, and warm sun that starts to feel hot.
Who would want any of that?
Keep it simple.
I liked how the ground and clouds seemed to mimic each other.
Then you actually look around. The truth is all of the rock layers, folded, pushed up, broken and tossed around you. There is almost too much to take in. It is not simple.
I was struggling to prove them wrong at this point…
What about the pinyon and juniper forest? Mormon tea?
Orange rocks. My youngest son will never live this one down. A few years ago he said “Look at the orange rock!” His brother and sister still shout that out the window as we drive, while hiking up high on the fold, Or sitting around the fire. All in good natured fun of course.
The other joke is always about the slants and nothing being straight.
Sometimes there is just something to feeling the varying layers of stone with your fingers. Eons of pressure and change graze against your skin.
Then late Sunday afternoon, I began feeling the pains of hunger, while sitting in a sunny nook on a rock, overlooking Fruita and parts of the fold below. The only noise was my kids climbing and jumping off rocks fifty yards away. Not fighting (as is one of the rules in the desert).
I came back to the phrase. I looked out beyond and below me. I looked to my right and left.
I looked up above me, and then looked down at my feet and saw this.
I guess they were right.
It is just a bunch of rocks.