It was 18 years ago that I went on the 5-day, 4-night guided camping trip around the White Rim Trail, outside of Moab. So much has happened in my life, since then, that I sometimes feel like a completely different person than the young guy who pedaled his M2 for 110 miles, offroad, that week.
But, it was such a remarkable trip, for me, that some moments stand out in my memory as if they happenedd only yesterday.
One such moment occurred after we had made camp, on the 2nd day out. The tents were set up, dinner was over, and the sun was still up. A few of us decided to stroll about 50 yards away, and take in the canyon view from the cliff on the other side of the trail.
Clouds were gathering, and a storm had been threatening since early afternoon, so we all took our rain shells and caps, just in case.
Sure enough, five minutes after we all had sat down on the cliff's edge, to gab and just chill for a while, the clouds opened up and rain began to fall. A couple of people retreated to the shelter of their tents.
That was their loss.
As we sat there, the rain fell harder. The water soaked into the surface of the porous sandstone, at first. Eventually, as the stone's surface saturated, the water began to flow. We watched the cliff on the other side of the canyon as, first a tiny trickle, then a bigger stream, began to flow over the side. Then, another...and another.
In the space of five minutes, dozens of waterfalls had formed, and flowed over the cliff's edge into the thirsty canyon, below.
Soon, the rain stopped. The waterfalls continued to flow until, one by one, they slowed, then stopped.
It was the first time I had ever seen such a thing, and I was astounded by it. Now, any time I am in Moab and it looks like rain, I head for one of the trails along the cliffs, just to watch the waterfalls form. It is never less amazing to me than the first time I saw it, in 1991.
Eighteen years later, it still gives me a thrill to just remember it.