Safety Third

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We awoke groggily but with a spirit full of adventure. The Sunday before Labor Day providing us with a bright blue sky and hot temperatures, we knew we had to get out of Moab and seize the day. Carpe Diem if you will. We packed up wetsuits, snacks, beer, and harnesses and headed out with friends for desert canyons in southern Utah. After a three hour drive we arrived at the trailhead where we now piled into the back of a pickup truck to get to the entrance. Once we finished packing our bags with a few more cans of PBR and desert water (tequila) we set off to the unknown. Under the hot afternoon sun we started the decent down into the canyon. Knowing that this rip in the desert floor would eventually turn slotty and require quite a bit of swimming I drank some liquid courage, much like Felix Felicis if you’re a Harry Potter fan, mine was in the form of PBR, and I did my best to take in all the views.

30 minutes into the hike we each cracked another beer, took a sip of tequila, and finally reached the point of the trek where we needed to pull out the wetsuits. As the group squeezed into our suits, one gal upped the anti by pulling on a pair of water-wings and children’s swimming goggles. “Look good, feel good, be safe,” was all that she said as she shrugged her shoulders. That garnered a laugh out of the majority of us. With that we began the decent into the chilled canyon water. We swam through the mud and the muck whilst being enamored by the beauty of the canyon walls rising well above us. The crew was reminiscent of little kids climbing through a jungle gym. So giddy and curious about what adventure lay ahead. Finally climbing out of the canyon we were all appreciative of the majestic beauty which we had just passed through and that now lay beneath us.

The drive home along Highway 95 lead to discussions of Edward Abbey’s book “The Monkey Wrench Gang”- a book that takes place in our Utah playground. It revolves around a fictional group of vagabonds with the mission to keep the wilderness wild. We daydreamed about having that be a reality. Counting the miles with however many 6 packs we had left. Looking back on the adventure we were all so incredibly stoked to be able to be in a place with seemingly only 5 humans for miles. So alone, so small, and able to take in the beauty without having to share. The wilderness is so vast and we are so small. Hopefully we can keep it that way for at least a little while longer.

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