Sunday, June 27, 2004

The Desert Storm

To walk on the beaten path is like sitting in the water of someone else's bath. To take the road much less walked upon lets you explore what is unknown.

The time was 4:20 PM. Scheduled time the off-alarm would ring would be 6:30 PM. But I didn't care obviously because I did not walk into my house until 8:30 PM. I was in search of an earthen dam. I never did find it but I found something else that was a little peculiar for being out in the middle of nowhere. I will post photos later.

I had looked through the binoculars where I thought this dam was supposed to be and then drove along the road to park. I wasn't judging distance or area very well because I parked way too far away from where I thought it was. I started walking and walking and walking. But I am not complaining. I had never been to the area before and I was in an exploring mood.

I looked north and saw those two clouds forming like a funnel. I thought how exciting I am going to be in the middle of a tornado. Actually in the southwest they are called microburst for some reason. They do the same effect though. I kept watching the clouds and the lightning in the distance. It doesn't rain in the desert everybody knows that.

As I said I never found that dam, but I found this corral thingy. I say thingy because it wouldn't have held animals in, but it was clearly some sort of fence. May be at one time it was bigger, but it wasn't now. It is so darn weird to come over a hill and find something of this nature. Why out here in the middle of nowhere. I pondered all of this as I smelled the pleasant aroma of a desert rain in the distance. I was about to get pounded.

I started back towards the area of the vehicle. I am wearing a pair of twill pants and a white t-shirt. First, I wish I could describe the smell of a desert rain approaching and then the smell afterwards. It is so great. There is this freshness in the air, but also this smell of a mixture of wet fur, earth, and brushes. It is indescribable unless you have smelled one. Like the photos I take, you just wouldn't understand without being there. WHAM! That lightning was a little too close. And the thunder that followed only meant one thing. I was going to be wet very soon. NOTE TO SELF: Carry rainpants when it looks like rain in the distance.

I was walking south and the rain was coming from the west traveling east. I think I still have water in my ear. The great thing about a desert rain is that it last may be 5-10 minutes. However, it is a hard and hurtful rain. It was almost like it was hailing it was pounding upon my arms so hard. My shirt was now as seen in a white tee shirt contest. I am sure a visitor will be waiting at my vehicle when I return. My pants now weighed about twice what they normally weigh. And my shoes now filled with water and collecting the Utah clay on them increased in weight as well. I finally stopped to put on a jacket, but the rain was easing up. This was only for my benefit of keeping warm. I am completely drenched. My hair is matted to my head so terribly that I can't even run my fingers through it. I find the road and look for my vehicle. I can't see it either direction, however; am quite certain it is south of me. I start walking on the road. I pull out the binoculars to see if I can see it. Nothing.

I finally see the vehicle in the distance. And all I can think of at the moment is that box of Honey Wheat Thins sitting on the front seat (fresh box). I am also thinking of the fleece jacket and rain pants in the back seat that I will be changing into. The vehicle seems to be getting further and farther away. I am about a quarter of a mile away and the vehicle seems like it is in auto reverse. The rain is starting again. I am so close and my jacket is almost dry. Let me make it.

I get to the vehicle, open the passenger door, and prepare to undress. I have stripped off my wet, white shirt and bra and slip back into the uniform shirt. I turn around to sit in the vehicle as I take off my wet 20 pound pants and look across the valley. There is a rainbow so bright and large in the near distance. I quickly undress and redress. I stand on the edge of the vehicle and realize I can see both ends of the rainbow. My lucky day because at one end is a pot of gold. I attempt to get both sides in the rainbow in a photo, but the work camera won't let it happen. I pulled out my trusty Canon Elf. Nothing. The battery must be dead. However, I failed to mention it did get a little wet so that would be the 2nd camera I have destroyed in the last two months. I drove down the road in attempt to get both ends. And then I saw it. The rainbow was actually a double rainbow and once again I could see both ends. Now I was really lucky because that made two pots of gold.

I started back towards home. The visitors that endured the rain and did not wimp out where getting a treat today. The lighting of the desert surrounding mixed with the rainbow(s) was just fantastic. I had that rainbow my entire drive home. It was like it was moving south while I was driving. At this time, I was wearing a pair of rainpants, my uniform shirt, and a uniform jacket. I did not have a pair of shoes on because they were soaking wet. Once arriving at the entrance there were some common sense visitors at the beautifully new, blocking my view of the valley, gas station looking entrance booths. They looked overly confused. I stopped and got out. I must have looked like a wreck.

ME: Can I help you? (There were two vehicles and two individuals standing near me needing help. I was looking at the second person standing there because I figured while I was talking to these other people, she would say "I have a quick question". FOLKS--there aren't any quick questions.)
COMMON SENSERS: We have this annual pass and there isn't any place to insert it in the fee machine. There is no sign in saying what we should do.
ME: (Wanted to say: Hell, after the booth closes most people don't pay). Well, just drive right in because you have the pass. (Now granted I didn't look pretty at this moment, but I was kind of in uniform minus the shoes)
COMMON SENSERS: Are you sure?
ME: (NO NUMB NUT) Why yes. If you have a pass, just go right in.

The other individual who didn't ask the quick question was actually more of a normal individual and we had a nice chat.

Sometimes you have to endure the hardships to see the rainbow.

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