Daily Journey Journal #158: back on the prairie

From November 1, 2014

Crunch. Swish. Crunch. Swish.

OW!

Crunch. Swish.

Sticker bushes and seeds, long since dried in the autumn wind, grabbed at our clothes, embedding themselves in our socks and shoes. Our feet pushed down the hard, yellowed stalks of grass as we waded through the prairie in search of an elusive waterfall. Wyoming and waterfalls don’t usually co-exist, Wyoming being prone to fires and slightly hydrophobic. Nonetheless, we believed the waterfall existed and so off A and I went with my mum and a group of her friends. Our  hiking instructions to the waterfall were loose at best and so after a two hour drive out of town we started down what we believed to be Hay Canyon.

While our hiking companions talked and joked, A and I took in our surroundings, trying to adjust to the sheer vastness of everything. The sky overhead was easily two or three times as wide as the sky in Korea, even with dark clouds taking up the horizon along the distant mountains. The land around us swept out in every direction, colliding with rocky hills and the foot of the nearby mountain range. In such a big, empty space, we couldn’t help but feel incredibly small.

Two hours, six stream hoppings and two dead elk later we got to the end of the canyon with not a drop of water in sight. Instead, the canyon fell open to a grassy hill at the bottom of which sat a cabin, outdoor john and log fence. All of us stared at the structures in bewilderment. Besides not being the waterfall, there was absolutely no access road or even a trail to the cabin.

So, while we missed one mystery of Wyoming, we found quite another entirely. How do the owners get to the cabin without wading through the prairie and tromping through the woods? we wondered as we climbed back over hill and dale to the cars. How indeed?

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