It’s official — fall has come to the desert. The mountains around Escalante are turning gold and red as the aspen leaves change, and the nights have gotten cold. Days are still warm on the Monument, but nothing like the scorching weather of the past few months; we are loving it. Seed collection is still in full swing here, so days are packed with monitoring, collecting and pressing herbarium specimens. My co-worker leaves in two weeks while I still have a month left here in Utah, so we are trying to get as much done as we can before she goes.
These past four months have been pretty incredible on a number of fronts — so many new experiences in a truly magical place. Living on Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument has really been a once in a lifetime experience; there is so much wildness here, so much space for roaming. I’d bet it’s probably one of the least explored places in the lower 48.
Canyon country is like no other place I’ve ever been, and it will always remain dear to my heart. As I’ve come to know the desert, I feel in a strange way like it’s come to know me as well; I’ve grown a lot while I’ve been down here with the red rock walls and damp canyon crevasses, and while I’ll be honest and say I’m excited to get back to the land of Big Water — I will definitely be back to the Staircase one day.
BLM, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, UT