After my return from Arches National Park, I couldn't help but think of Edward Abbey. Those old timers to my blog, will know that the name I use on here, Ed, is fictional and in fact, I used to use Edward Abbey. But soon I had people crawling out of the woodwork wondering why I use Edward Abbey and yet don't share all his views and in fairness to them and Edward Abbey's legacy, I shortened it to Ed and that has been my fictional name for blogging ever since.
I first discovered Abbey from his novel "The Monkey Wrench Gang" but what I really fell in love with was his non-fictional travelogues, especially "Desert Solitaire". Through them I experienced places that I had never been too back then and since that time, I have striven to see those places before they are gone. Arches was one of those places.
But it haunts me a bit since I experienced Arches much like the "industrial tourist" Abbey rails about in Desert Solitaire. Perhaps he would soften a bit if he could know that my experience has haunted my dreams for many a night since. I see those red rocks and worn arches in my dreams and feel called to return and spend a long period of time there. With a backpack, tent and adequate water supply, I'm sure I could roam the place for a month and never tire of seeing the landscape around me or long for anything else. My situation however is such that I can't, at least not anytime soon, and the odds are that perhaps I'll never be able to. I hope that perhaps someday in the future when the kids are independent and have lives of their own, I am physically able to return to this place for a longer period of time.
Until then, I pulled out my copy of Desert Solitaire, the last edition, and am rereading it for the umpteenth time. My original edition got lent out at some point and never returned many years ago. Once again I am living in a world described by Abbey that I had never been to until recently but now, I can relate just a bit more and the scenes in my imagination are much more vivid.