I’m not a Westerner. I visited and paddled there a little, far less than many here. But the slickrock country holds some precious memories for me and has a sort of mythical hold on my imagination, as it does for many Americans. Its far more than Gunsmoke and Rawhide. Its a land of asteroid craters, dinosaur tracks, lost civilizations, pioneers, conquistadors, all painted on a canvas of deep geological time. The sun and open spaces encourage the “long view” of our place in the grand scheme of things. From a particular point in deep time.
And Glen Canyon is a part of that almost mythological view of the west - due to having read, long ago, David Brower/Eliot Porter’s excellent book “The Place No One Knew.” I’ve no doubt that others here have seen it also and dreamed of what it would have been like to have paddled Glen Canyon before L. Powell’s filling. Its an idea of an almost mythical place, like Thule or Elysium.
And this article appeared recently. I thought others here might like to read it also, if they haven’t already. It has an allure to those accustomed to seeing the world from the water with paddle in hand. Not a bad read for a Sunday evening…
I don’t mean to start a lot of political debate - what you or I think is “good” or “bad” is of less importance than what simply is. And I view this as a trip report from what simply is at this point in deep time.
I’m reminded of an Ed Abbey quote about the future of the Glen Canyon dam in that context, if I remember it correctly:
“Concrete is heavy and steel is hard, but the grass will prevail.”