Outdoor Explorations · Poetry · Writing

Dry River Canyon

Modern Petroglyph in the Dry River Canyon
Modern Petroglyph in the Dry River Canyon

Walking in the canyon
Rounded water-worn rock
Rises from the trail under our feet
Marking the course of the ancient river

Walls of greys and tans and browns
Rise above our heads to meet a brilliant blue sky
The earth-toned landscape is
Dotted with yellow of rabbitbrush in bloom

The wind brushes our backs
Carrying the scent of Juniper
And blooming desert sage

We taste the dust
That rises in plumes with each step
To coat our legs and bodies

Buzz of insects and call of birds
Sound of wind through rock and trees
Mute the sound of the nearby highway

We spy lizards scurrying across sand and rock
And pass petroglyphs
Etched by not-so-ancient travelers
A pile of obsidian flakes
An old fire ring half buried in sand and dust

In the hard packed earth
Tracks of a cougar follow tracks of a deer
Scavenged bones bleaching in the sun
Scat with bone and fur
Tracks of a cougar meander deeper in

Blooming Rabbitbrush
Blooming Rabbitbrush
Juniper Berries and Sage Sprigs
Juniper Berries and Sage Sprigs
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4 thoughts on “Dry River Canyon

    1. Thanks, Mom. It was a great hike. The canyon just opened after a seasonal closure (protect falcon nesting habitat), and the biologists forgot to change out the sign at the trailhead. After verifying it really was open, we had the whole place to ourselves!

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