Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Bowl.

…. ‘Twas the spring of 1976 and Linda, our Sophomore6a00c2252873c4549d00d414379df16a47-500pi English teacher, had assigned us “Desert Solitaire” by Edward Abbey as our reading assignment.  We convinced her (and she actually convinced the administration) that the best place to read it was down in Arches National Park. So one Thursday morning Linda, her boyfriend and some 20 of her students took off in a caravan down to Moab on a field trip for the weekend.  I was driving my father’s 1974 Dodge Van with 6 or 8 of my closest friends, my parent’s huge army-issue type tent, sleeping bags, a bunch of food, and other necessities.   The first night we walked down one of the wider crevices in the rock and found this bowl in the red rock about 15 feet above the floor. My friends and I ended up spending the night in it, only to wake up to the realization that had it rained there would have been no way out.  It wasn’t until 2 decades later that I actually got around to reading the book, but we sure had a fun time.
…. I went down to Arches with the family this weekend and, of course, had to go looking for the bowl.  The campground has changed a lot over the last 33 years, so it took a bit of looking, and the help from my little brother, to find it, but we did.  It’s still there, although there is a lot more dirt in the bottom, it wouldn’t be too hard to get out even if the rock was wet and slick.  The trees have grown, leaving less room up there than I remembered.  But it was fun finding it and taking a trip back in time.
…. More pictures and story to come…


A Paperback Writer said...

Tidbit for you:
Edward Abbey used to interview my grandpa all the time to get info for his books.
Maybe I'll get around to reading some of them one day....

Max said...

Waaaay cool! My favorite one, a book that I wasn't even assigned to read, was "The Monkey Wrench Gang." I read it in high school, talked both my brothers into reading it. We all liked it so much we call our property "Back of Beyond Ranch" and have the license plates BEYOND (with successive numbers) on our cars. When I was in Moab this weekend we were asked a couple of times why we all had "BEYOND" plates. It comes from one of the characters in the book, Seldom-Seen Smith, who ran a river running business named "Back of Beyond Expeditions".

A Paperback Writer said...

I bought a copy of Monkey Wrench Gang for my brother for his b-day.
I knew about the back of beyond ranch, but I didn't know it came from Abbey.
I really need to read his stuff.