Monday, July 22, 2013

Skinny Wash on a Four Corners River, a fantasy escapist story by Burl Dunn

So I've got the truck all loaded. We're going on a very special rafting trip. I won't tell you the river, but it's one of the many great rafting trips in the four Corners of The U.S. It's either in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, or Utah. People zip down the river every spring and summer, most in a raft powered by by 10 horse power or so motor. Many use the various companies and paddle themselves with a guide or go on an oar boat paddled by a guides. Guides are a WHOLE other story. And so are the people, especially the ones who pay for gourmet meals and wine every night.
My girlfriend braided our first rope from WWII parachute cord. I made an oar frame that looked a lot like Meryl Streep's in "River Wild." We have shot class 4s ... shot class 3s without even scouting. It's been real.
We've also gone at water levels that most people find to be a drag, but when you go slow you see things, new things, things that 99% of people don't give a second glance. Aye, there's the rub.
So there are some spectacular washes where everyone stops to play. But I saw this REALLY skinny wash about 10 years ago. Have you ever gone in the slot canyons like in Utah? Have you gone through a place so tight that you had to squeeze every ounce on breath out and then force your way through in one big push? Yeah. That's tight.
Well, I found one on this river. If the water is low you have to pull away from it to stay in the current. If the water is high you might just graze the bushes as you whisk by. If you're like me you might think, "I wonder what's back there?" Well, I know what's back there. Me, some birds, and as far as I can tell, that's it. No mountain sheep in this area. No bears. Well ... Cougar maybe and some other cat. But I haven't seen scat.
I pulled in one year and flopped my way through the mud until I had some rocks underfoot. Then I tore myself to hell fighting through the creosote bush. Finally, I could shuffle along a rock wall above the bed of the wash where all the mess is. I angled up and got to the good stuff. There is an Anasazi store room where they could keep grain and stuff. If you pick your way around the rocks just right you can get to the sweetest Cottonwood tree God put on this earth. Bar None. I wouldn't kid you. Sweet green grass underneath. Hell, you'd think you were on a Morman Temple lawn.  There is a spring that once dripped a gallon in four hours.
So I'm goin' in. I have two friends with rope skills. We have things as rigged as can possibly be until we get there and see just how we will have to do it. I don't feel like going into all the technical stuff, ok? I'm into the romance of the escape. We figure we can get it all up without being seen and without making a lot of tracks and sign. We're going to be so set for a few months! Then they go back to their lives and I have some thinking to do.

I see I am on and itunes. Anywhere there is a like button or something (I'm not on facebook) you could do me a world of good with a click!

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