back to primordial roots, everything washed clean. Catching an elusive flash flood is akinto discovering buried treasure. Red or black or green waterfalls coalesce and roar downside canyons that may have been silent for lifetimes. A gift from the Gods. Mud sweepseverything in its path downstream, that much closer to the sea, swirling and cascadinginto oblivion. One must take great care not to join the detritus. Secretly I smile when theonce mighty Colorado, Spanish for
, returns for a time back to its pre-dam personality. Once the spray settles, debris is left perched in unusual places—high intreetops, jammed in cracks fifty feet and more overhead. People point and wonder at howthat tree got way the hell up there…If hiking a slot canyon—the sky a thin, meandering indigo thread directlyoverhead—we boatmen covertly, nervously sniff the air for the telltale fecund smell of wet earth, for something…
. Perhaps a peculiar sound where only the flawlessdesert silence existed before. Something in your subconscious whispering like amessenger…The sound of water.It is, of course, better to sense the whisper well before it becomes a clarion call.Guides too often tempt fate as it is. Personality trait. Keep an eye out at every bend for aquick exit route. Watch for a climbable escape crack as you slither between the verticalwalls.Better yet—
. Camp high. Keep your gear packed and ready for hastygathering, especially your life jacket. Sleep on your boat, one eye open. Clear your senseswith one neat shot of highland single-malt.