Red Rock Canyon Day 02byLuciousBi-Writes4U©
Day Two: On to the Higher Elevations
After some pan-fried griddlecakes smothered in fresh berries and syrup the girls packed up camp and started northwest. They planned to make it up the trail to the next tiers of the canyon. The weather reports had been favorable for the entire weekend. And it was indeed a brisk, but sunny and clear Saturday morning.
5 miles or so ahead and a bit to the northwest the to lawyers, Chad and Rex boiled up some fresh oatmeal and topped it all off with some strawberry jam. Stomped out their fire pit and used water from their canteen to make sure it was out. Then they rolled up their sleeping bags—grabbed their sacks and headed up and to the northeast from the center area of the park.
All four of the young hikers would soon be in for a big surprise when by midday the clouds had begun to roll into the blue sky above and the temperature shifted at least 20 degrees in only a matter of hours.
Shelby and Paige hoped like hell that the breeze would send the clouds above passing right over them without any trouble. But having come from a family of hikers Shelby knew to look around for extra cover while they continued their field study and sample collections for their project.
They knew that they had the cover of the tent, but they also knew that it would be no match for any type of high winds. About 10 miles from where they'd started they noticed the entrance to a small niche or cavern in the wall of the rocks.
Paige suggested that they use some hikers ribbons; little plastic strips of bright red material to tie off a reminder of the way back down the trail to the niche. Just in case they needed they'd thought. After all they were two young women alone in the canyon for all they knew.
It had been a long time since either Chad or Rex had been hiking at all—not since their spring break trip as seniors in college. Which had now been followed up by four more years in law school and a year and half out in the world of corporate law. Chad was never that great of a Boy Scout and Rex had never been a hiker until they'd drawn each other as roommates in the freshman housing lottery—therefore he knew even less.
They boys hiked forward to the northeast for about 5 miles before stopping for lunch and a rest. They noticed red flags attached to some of the vegetation leading away from where they were. Looking around to see what might be worth marking this particular spot on an open and winding trail Rex came across the cavern that the girls had discovered earlier that day.
After their lunch Chad and Rex set forward for about another mile when around 3 PM the harmless cloudy skies turned into threatening menaces. The guys decided to take cover under a ledge of the canyon wall. But when the wind began to whip and the rain began to beat down, the cover of the ledge just wasn't enough to be of any help. The guys were at a loss for what to do, they'd brought no tent...they were soaked to the bone. Then Chad remembered the hikers ribbons and the cavern they'd seen a while back. And they headed for its warmth and safety.
The girls on the other hand had figured it out before the rain and hail had begun to fall and they'd set up their tent right at the mouth of the cavern—actually right to its inside so that they could stay dry inside the cavern and warm within their tent and sleeping bags. Luckily they'd kept all their supplies dry as well. It was obvious by the already steep drop in temperature that the evening would be even colder.
The two young lawyers finally reached the cavern to find that they might not be allowed its safe haven after all. Meeting the two girls, Chad thought they were screwed—but Rex thought that their ship had come in.
"Hello Ladies. I'm Rex and this is Chad."
"Nice to meet you. I'm Shelby and this is my friend Paige. Looks like the weather got the better of you two."
"Yes, what gave it away—the soaking wet sleeping bags and knapsacks and clothes or the undoubted red marks on our faces from the hail hits in the face as we boogied back down the trail..." Chad remarked in a sarcastic chuckle.
"We didn't realize that the hiking ribbons we'd seen earlier were fresh from this weekend, we figured they were left a weekend or two earlier. We figured that we would have the safety of this cavern if we needed it." Rex explained.
"Yes, I marked the trail myself after we ate our lunch here. I come from a family of hikers and I could tell that the day was probably going to go badly when I saw how funky the sky looked this afternoon." Shelby remarked.
"Do you think there's anyway we could share this little safe spot until the storm passes?" Chad asked hopingly.
"I don't see why not, you certainly don't seem like the uhhh...axe murdering freaky types..." Paige replied in a nervous giggle.
"Yes, it seems like the only smart and humane thing to do is to share...after all no one owns nature...and as we can see Mother Nature has a huge mind all her own. But I've seen these storms pop up out here before on other trips in the past and I think you'd all better get used to the idea that we may have to bed down in here together overnight to ride this thing out." Shelby elaborated.
"What HORRIBLE luck—NOT"! Rex thought to himself with a chuckle.