I drive alone into the Dollhouse area of southwestern Canyonlands National Park, the most remote part of the park.
From the Hans Flat Ranger Station it was five grueling hours of rocky jeep trail to get into the area. I was sore all over for days after. I set up my tent in one of three camping sites, the other two being empty.
Later that evening, a storm blows through and I wish I hadn’t chosen the camp site closest to the cliff drop off. First there was moderate rain and lots of lightening. Then heavy rain, wind and more lightening. Now the tent material can’t take it any more and is beginning to leak. Outside I can hear branches breaking and debris is hitting the side of the tent hard. But the wind just kept getting stronger and soon the tent can no longer stand up even with me holding it up from the inside. The tent poles are bent almost flat and the tent pegs are pulling out. Now I’m just trying to hold on for dear life while huddled in a corner of what used to be a tent but is now acting more like a kite. Even a dash to the truck is out of the question since I can’t locate the door to the tent nor my car keys. Several lightening strikes cause the ground to jump and the thunder is deafening.
It’s Judgment Day! The End of the World!
Almost suddenly, the rain slacks off and then quits altogether. The wind slackens and within three minutes has quit. I crawl out of what was once my tent, into rivers of mud. The weather is now completely calm. As I listened to the thunder continuing to roll eastward, I noticed there were stars overhead.
A day or two later, I drive out of the Dollhouse and coast on gas fumes to the gas station in Green River.