Post details: Things appearing in the desert.

04/10/05

Things appearing in the desert.

posted by collin on 05.04.10 at 19:34, null, null, Leave a comment Permalink

At times like this I wish I was still back out west...

And a snip from here:
(if you're going to steal, steal from the best)

SQUINTING in the late afternoon sun at a topographic map covered with tiny elevation lines, Jeff Bury, an assistant professor of geography at San Francisco State University, had to admit the obvious. "I have no idea whether or not this way will go," he said, using canyoneering jargon for a route's viability. The reason for his confusion wasn't poor map skills - as a lifelong hiker, he has spent plenty of time navigating the backcountry. But this trip in southern Utah was different - the route he was hunting couldn't be found because until a few weeks ago it didn't exist.

Our destination was the Cathedral in the Desert, an often mythologized yet little-seen sandstone amphitheater in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area that has become a Brigadoon for the backpacking set. The Cathedral has been hidden for decades beneath the waters of Lake Powell. But a six-year drought has dropped the water level in Lake Powell 140 feet, and miles of sinuous slot canyons and rolling sandstone cliffs are visible for the first time since the 1960's. The result has been a poorly mapped land rush of sorts among desert aficionados like Dr. Bury.

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