Thursday, May 30, 2013

Everything which is infinite, which is yes

Yesterday I was lucky to go on a hike I’d been looking forward to for some time. A few weeks ago I was at a meeting where the park Superintendent talked about a trail that he said wasn’t ready for prime time, the Blue Mesa to Teepees trail. The trail follows ridge lines through the badlands and was washed out in spots, and in some places footholds had to be chopped out with a pickax. Some sections are only a foot or so wide with a pretty formidable drop on one side and a wall on the other. I talked to paleontologist Bill about going on a hike there and he said I could trail along the next time he went, which turned out to be yesterday. I toted along my hiking poles because I’d heard the horror stories and wanted to be prepared. I didn’t need them.

In the last couple of weeks a group of teenagers has been here in the park, working on that trail and at least one other that I know about. When we hiked the trail yesterday we found footholds chopped into steep sections, foot after foot leveled out, an inner curve secured with stacked rock, and a generally challenging trail, at least for me, but a navigable one. Like the trail down into the Painted Desert that I wrote about some time back, I was sucking wind in spots but it was so worth it.

I’ve posted pictures here before from Blue Mesa, the ones taken from the established loop that visitors can easily see and travel. The views from yesterday’s hike were very different, as they were taken from the top looking down, as opposed to looking up out of the valley the loop trail follows.

One of the ridge lines, where we’re walking on top of the world.

Navigating a steep hairpin turn.

Another ridge line section.

Petrified wood lying in a gully in Blue Mesa, lying where it eroded from. The only place in the park where it’s been moved is in front of the Rainbow Forest museum at the south entrance to the park, where representative samples of the different kinds to be found have been placed. The rule on wood or any other thing found in the park is to leave it where it was found.

Badlands, as seen from above.

Look at the size of the petrified wood log in the background, exactly where it eroded from the surrounding earth.

The Teepees end of the trail.

More teepees, so called because of their conical shape.

I can’t wait to go back and take some time. It might have taken us 45 minutes for this trip, but I’d like to spend at least a couple of hours there. I love this park. Everywhere I look is more and more beauty.

Thought of the day:
I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes. (e.e. cummings)