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Floods and quicksand

Mom and I had unfinished business with our next trail. We had planned to visit this trail on Christmas day, but then The Weather Jinx brought us a white Christmas and the Covered Wagon got stuck in the white dirt just 25 yards down the road that led to the trail. That began our 5 day flight out of the mountains trying to get away from the storm. Mom had planned this whole trip around visiting the trails that we’d missed the last time. This time we were again here after another storm, but at least the Covered Wagon made it to its destination. The rest was up to me and Mom.



The walls closed in on us all of a gradual as we walked down the canyon. Up ahead, according to everything that Mom had read, were two of her favorite things in one place: slot canyons made of stripey rocks. The pictures made it seem like we would be hiking through a forest of zebra legs. But when the canyon narrowed to a few Oscars wide, we lost our paws in quicksand again. Then, we reached the puddle. It filled the whole floor of the slot for as far in as we could see. “Maybe it’s not that deep,” Mom said, rolling up her pants again like Knuckleberry Finn, and taking off her shoes and socks. She left her shoes on the dry sand (where I planned to wait out this adventure), and waded in. On the first step, I watched the water come up to her ankle. With the second, it was almost to her knee. I saw her reaching around for the third step, but her foot must not have found anything because it came back next to the other leg and she turned around. The canyon wasn’t even narrow enough for her to stretch her arms out and touch both sides at once, and she had only made it in a few feet into the puddle. “Damn,” she said. “Too deep.” “How do you know? Maybe it’s just an inch or two deeper and you can stand on tip-toes,” I called across the quicksand. “Think about it,” Mom said. “The more the walls squeeze in, the same amount of water that’s spread across this wide spot has to fit under the surface. The surface doesn’t get any higher, so the bottom can only get deeper.” I wasn’t sure that I followed, but she seemed satisfied with her explanation. “We’re not getting in there today,” she concluded. “Ohhhhh, darn…” I said, pretending to be disappointed but already running back up the canyon.









Oscar the Adventurer

#hikingwithdogs #zebraslot #geology #escalante #grandstaircaseescalante #utahhike #tunnelslot #slotcanyons #doghike


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