Such are the delays and gaps when blogging in T'mon (The Middle Of Nowhere). Here, finally, is part two of the prior post, and photos of the pictographs we sand-slogged to in Horseshoe Canyon. They date as far back as 700 AD... a pretty durable paint formula I'd say.
I had an uneasy feeling, hiking past twisted, black-trunked cottonwood trees that line Horse Shoe Canyon. They looked spooky, frozen in contortionist pose. Cadmium yellow leaves glowed and flickered in the breeze like a thousand miniature suns; an uncomplimentary contrast, yellow leaves and pink sandstone. But who am I to judge the outfits Mother Nature throws on. Let's just say, it's not something I would wear... except on Halloween.
It was the old wrinkle-barked autumnal cottonwoods that made the sand-slog to Horse Shoe's pictographs seem easier. "Look at that one... Look at that one." It kept cameras busy, and minds off slow-sand.
Between photogenic cottonwoods, my mind wandered elsewhere. It was familiar, that spot "between a rock and a hard place." You see, a ways downstream there is a slot canyon by the name of Blue John. It's plumbed to dump flash flood debris into Horse Shoe, as well as the bones of occasional adventurous types... guys like Aron Ralston. Aron was rescued by helicopter just downstream from where we hiked after being found by a wandering family, out for a desert wash stroll out in T'mon.
In case some readers were living in a "cave," let me remind that "Between A Rock and A Hard Place" is Aron Ralston's book: the movie, 127 Hours, is based on his book. They detail how an adventure seeking kid went off to solo a slot canyon and ended up minutes from death and minus an arm. Just a slight tug on a boulder... something we all do all the time... brought it down, pinning his hand and arm against the canyon wall. After days without water, growing weak with infection and hallucination setting in, Aron became fearful of falling asleep and not waking up. So he took the only tool he had, a dull pocket knife, and cut through the flesh, tendons and muscle of his own arm. He recalled later how much work it took. Cutting through nerves was the worse part. It sent burning hot pokers up his arm, clear to his brain.
Frustrated by not being able to cut through the bones in his forearm, he leveraged all his body weight against a fulcrum bulge of stone, and with an almighty all-or-nothing heave, snapped the bones in two. One armed, bleeding profusely, Aron fought to remain conscious. Somehow he made it out of Blue John, with a long vertical repel into Horse Shoe Canyon.
I couldn't believe my eyes when Aron started making the talk show circuit to promote his book. I don't know how one is supposed to act after enduring what he went through. But he seemed so casual about it... like, "Hey, it's part of life. You gotta move on." He even showed photos... including the one's of him cutting off his arm.
It wasn't until years later that the life-altering trauma of that event sent him spiraling down into the depths of depression. But he's Aron Ralston. He's tough. He survived that, too.
Our outdoor adventures are stacking up. Stay tuned as Bobbie and I take on two slot canyons. Don't worry, we're ok :)).
Thanks for you comments... they fuel the BCB, and I enjoy finding out who else has been where we go, and suggestions of other places nearby that we might miss.
I'm looking out my window at a red rock canyon. Cottonwoods grow along the creek that flows under Goldie's nose. Bobbie is exploring its source as I post this. The cold is gone; it's pushing upper 70's and I'm wearing shorts, t shirt and flip flops. Heaven.
|After Horse Shoe and the San Rafael Swell, we moved on to Capital Reef|