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Murphy and the Mesa

Following our fearless leader up and over a crumbly cliff near Moab, I nonchalantly grabbed onto a boulder, about 2 feet in diameter. When much of my own weight was transferred, the boulder pulled out of its matrix, missed my leg by a bit, and crashed down onto a jeep road. Some day a jeeper's adventure will be interrupted by this boulder in the middle of their thoroughfare, and they will be forced to get out of the vehicle and use muscles to move the boulder. (They will then use that as an excuse to go shopping for a new GPS system or smartphone with a new app that identifies boulders on jeep roads.)

This really wasn't such a close call, but it was the largest adjustment of the Earth's surface topography that I have ever been responsible for.

Later in the scramble I was forced to wedge between two larger boulders. As I transferred my weight to one of these large boulders, I wondered how evil Murphy really was. Imagine if that boulder pulled into the other one, with my poor little body in between!

Today our fearless quartet is between St. George UT and Zion national park, and accreting a few more members soon. Almost exactly at sunrise, I heard "thunder." Huh? The sky was blue. Where did the lightning and thunder come from? There was road construction a few miles away. Maybe they were doing some rock-blasting.

I stepped outside the trailer and saw what caused the "thunder."

The camera doesn't show the cloud of red dust quite as clearly as it really was. It is about a half mile from our dispersed campsite. Wow, I've always wondered how often a big chunk came down from these vertical cliff faces. This suggests that you might not want to camp right at the base of a cliff.

And where was fearless leader? I expected him to come running out of his motorhome with his camera. But it was too early for him. (Blush.) Geesh, didn't he ever hear about early birds and worms!


I thought for a minute your post was going to be about Murphy's Hogback out on the White Rim and I was wondering how in heck you got out there! LOL

It's called mass wasting and is typically caused by the frost cycle. A good reason to never camp close to cliffs. But sometimes mass wasting gets a little help from humans. Glad you weren't hurt - you couldda been severe-iously injured!
klbexplores said…
Amazing that you were able to catch it in the pic! Lesson learned - Never let the camera be far from reach!!
I'll sure be glad when Jim gets here to take the burden and abuse for sleeping in off my shoulders. I think its 10 am before he's ready to go :) That's a lot of dust! Not a minor event there...
Box Canyon Mark
Jim and Gayle said…
You guys should just be getting back by the time I have had breakfast.