Easter Sunday this year brought me to true desert. I took a Sierra Club outing to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah, about 700 miles from my home in Boulder, Colorado.
The land gets only six to seven inches of rain in a typical year. The plants all adopt different strategies to conserve what little water they get. The animals are scarce and the bugs essentially nonexistent here.
At 4 p.m. I arrived at the campground near the town of Escalante where I met the others who also joined this Sierra Club outing. In addition to the group leader and assistant, ten of us are on the outing. Six are men and six are women. By some strange coincidence, four of the men are named David.
We pitched out tents at the campground for only one night. On Monday morning we struck our tents, climbed back into our vehicles, and all of us made a six-mile hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls. The 126-foot falls are at the head of a box canyon, forming an idyllic oasis there.