“Let’d do a short easy hike today because I have to write,” I said. Many hours later we would stumble out of Box Canyon sunburned, ravenous and happy to be alive.
It was the hottest day of the summer so far. Trinity left early and rode her bike out; Marie and I met her in the parking lot. We hit the trail.
“Let’s go all the way to the overhang at the end,” I said.
It wound through the shade of a few trees and then up between the cliffs of the short canyon. That was technically the end of the trail. We could have stopped there.
“Let’s go all the way to the overhang at the end,” I said. The canyon was filled with debris that rose steeply toward the towering cliff face it terminated in. We aimed our feet upward and stopped in the shade twenty minutes later, nowhere near the overhang but slightly higher in elevation. We drank water. We caught our breath.
“Hey where’s Marie?” I asked.
“She decided to stay in the shade,” Trinity answered.
I had to stop at least five more times to catch my breath, drink water, wonder where Trinity was. Ah– there she is. Near the top. How does she do it??
Finally I met her up there and we both collapsed in the shade under the overhang. The bright cliffs were like giant reflectors, making it even hotter in the canyon than it had been in the parking lot.
We lay there on the rock, catching our breath, staring up at the cliff, watching a butterfly flutter between the junipers. An eagle circled above.
My husband called. We chatted, joked. I took some photos of the eagle. Trinity and I wondered what Marie was doing back down there at the bottom of the canyon; we couldn’t see the spot we’d left her at anymore.
Then Marie appeared, panting. “I… came… to rescue…you guys.” This is when Trinity and I realized we’d been hanging out under the overhang for the better part of an hour, doing nothing.
“Let’s go back down on the other side,” I said. “It’s shady.”
Twenty minutes later I was clinging to convex sandstone, trying to not to look down.
Twenty minutes later I was clinging to convex sandstone, trying to not to look down. What would Pete Williams do? I thought, and pushed onward. Carefully.
Trees. Beautiful shady trees. We were back on the trail. Then we were back in the parking lot, with my car and Trinity’s bike.
We all looked at Trinity’s bike.
“You wanna stuff that in the back of my car?” I asked. She nodded slowly, her eyes wide.
In comparison to Box Canyon, the work week was shaping up to be–while no week has been boring here–let’s say, not cliff-y enough. So one afternoon I suggested we spend a day on the Quarry face measuring dinosaur bones.
the work week was shaping up to be–while no week has been boring here–let’s say, not cliff-y enough
There are several fields we’re looking to fill for each bone in the Digital Quarry Project, and one of them is the rough dimensions, because even with a scale it can be challenging to get a feel for the size of each bone just from looking at it. Plus, due to the three-dimensional nature of the cliff face, not all of the relative sizes are accurate as they appear when represented two-dimensionally in the website. But enough of that. You came here for cliffs.
It was Trinity’s first time up, and Dan Chure showed her the ropes, then went about his other paleontological duties for the day, leaving us at whim of the Jurassic. The photos really tell the rest of the day better than words would here.
Friday, I left for Salt Lake City to pick up my husband at the airport, and the rest of Week Six I’ll be keeping to myself. Rest assured it was awesome.