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A stormy day

September 14, Day 59. This morning I sleep until 9:00 a.m., unheard of for me. When I try to get out of bed I can barely move. My arms are sore from using the trekking poles—a sure sign that they’re helpful—and my legs are so rubbery I can barely use stairs.

I plan to hike The Narrows today, a path that leaves you walking in a slot canyon, mostly in the water of the Virgin River, knee deep but sometimes chest deep. I’m almost grateful when the weather forecast calls for a 60 percent chance of heavy thunderstorms. A Ranger tells me the water flow has doubled since yesterday’s storms and could double again today if the forecast is correct. In that event The Narrows will be closed. I decide it would be foolhardy to chance it.

Storms threaten The Narrows

Instead I drive out of the canyon up to the Kolob Terrace Road to see what things look like from above. By the time I drive the 40 or so miles to get there, it’s begins hailing, followed by a heavy downpour. A sign at the beginning of the Lava Point Road, where you can view the canyon system, warns that the road is impassable in wet weather, even with four-wheel drive.

Reluctantly, I turn back to camp in the driving rain. Even if I could get to the Lava Point Overlook I wouldn’t be able to take pictures, or even see anything. At camp I fall onto the bed and drift off to sleep with the sound of rain pelting the roof.

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