Saturday, May 17, 2014

Colors of the Canyon

After leaving the library, I ventured solo out into the canyon. I would meet up later with everyone for dinner and roasting marshmallows around the fire. I took a few turns off of the path that we normally take to the cave, but I always found my way back. That way, I got to see more parts of the canyon.

The All-Seeing Eye, which gazes out to Moab and up into the canyon.

"Infinity Falls"

Same waterfall, as seen from above.

I made it back to the Guest Cave before anyone had gotten back. Freebird showed up after nightfall and made the raven call, checking if I was there. Concerned, he invited me over to Cottonwood Cave and cooked Thai noodles for me.

That was very interesting occurrence, considering what happened only a few days before. Just prior to leaving for Boulder, Daniel, Brandon and I were walking past a Thai restaurant in Moab. This is my favorite food ever. Though I've been eating very well since becoming moneyless, honestly I've continued to crave Thai food. Brandon smiled at me, "You might be eating Thai food this weekend."

Well Thai food didn't appear that weekend, but it came only a few days later, thanks to Freebird!

Later that night, Brandon and Daniel joined us. We made s'mores around the campfire. Daniel had so many, that he experienced a sugar rush like I've never seen from him before. He hauled over large limbs and snapped branches more quickly than I've ever seen him move!

The following morning Freebird offered to show me where Hands Cave is. I woke up earlier than he did, so until he was ready, I wandered some nearby paths and enjoyed the morning stillness...

Emily's (left) and Brandon's charcoal drawings around Freebird's fire ring.

Freebird awoke and cooked oatmeal for us. Then we set off
 on a journey to Hands Cave, exploring further up-canyon.

Daniel playing guitar in Guest Cave, and Brandon standing guard nearby.

Barrel cacti are now in bloom.

A raven casting its shadow as it glides along the canyon wall. Their calls are heard
throughout the area and are one of the first sounds that I hear as the sun rises.
There has been a forest fire here.

A balanced rock on top of a cave.
Prickly pear cacti. I've eaten their pads, which taste delicious.

A fragrant field of globe mallow, a plant that Daniel cooks with often.

Hands Cave.

Hand prints of Anasazi children.

Larkspur, amid a field of globe mallow.

 We stopped to cool off in the frigid waters of Love Pool. The water flows in a circle around the sand island, then cascades down another waterfall to the swimming hole that visited on my first day in the canyon. We warmed up after each dip by laying on the rocks above the whirlpool, baking in the sunlight. What a beautiful experience to relax there with no hikers around, looking at the towering cliffs all around us and listening to all the sounds of the canyon.

Juniper bark.
 We returned to Cottonwood Cave, where Freebird prepared us salad and honey ham wraps for lunch. Sitting beside the fire ring, I received the trail name, "Raven." After taking a nap in the sunlight, Freebird helped me move into a smaller cave around the corner from Guest Cave. Now I have more privacy and can easily visit the others whenever I want. My new home has become, "Raven's Roost."

That night, we walked over to Guest Cave for dinner. Daniel made soup out of various wild edibles, as well as sweet potatoes and vegetables that Freebird provided. We also prepared corn on the cob with olive oil, another gift from Freebird.

I went to bed early and slept at Raven's Roost. From there I could gaze down the canyon in both directions. The moonlight shone on the rocks, the stars were strung across the sky. It was a spectacular night. 

The following morning, I awoke to this view...

And here's a few pictures of Raven's Roost...

 With each new day, there continue to be so many wonderful experiences. I'm so glad that I allowed myself to overcome fears and come out west to meet all these loving, selfless people and share in all of these moments with them. While I'm gaining more independence and confidence, I recognize that we're all dependent on each other. I'm enjoying watching all of us transform together as friends.


  1. So amazing. Perhaps more details on how to harvest and cook wild food?

  2. At this point I'm not very knowledgeable about wild edibles and am still learning. If I'm around Daniel when he harvests and prepares the food, I'll be sure to share details!