This archived article was written by: Kellie Henderson
Students and community members canoed through Labyrinth Canyon from Sept. 11-14, gaining knowledge and experiencing the spiritual side of nature.
The students, members of the river running and science excursion courses, embarked with members of the Carbon Recreation Center to guide them. They typically spent a few hours on the river each day and usually stop to hike around the beautiful scenery. Because the excursion was tied to a geology course, Michelle Fleck, the instructor, would discuss rock formations as they saw them in the canyon. “It’s a really ideal way to learn about geology when you’re out in it,” says Fleck.
Many of the hikes taken on the trip revealed a beautiful bird’s- eye view of the scenery, but Fleck found one particular hike to be significant. There’s a little place where you have to climb, it’s a pretty strenuous climb, it took us about 20 minutes to get up to the overhang. The BLM, Bureau of Land Management, had left a little … register inside of a plastic pipe that’s got a little screw cap on it. . You pull it out and it’s just [a little notebook] and people sign their names and they say where they’re from and their impressions.
“People draw pictures, they write poems, it’s almost like a spiritual experience. You sit there and it’s just a beautiful view and we were there on a beautiful day. You see it’s not just Utah people, it’s people from Canada and Europe- all over that are here to see this. I think that was the highlight, hiking up to that viewpoint and writing in that register.”
Although this group was smaller than in previous years, the trip was still enjoyable and they did not encounter any harsh weather or other challenges. This allowed the group to enjoy the natural phenomena in a calm, stress-free environment, “I think some people think about river trips like white water and high adventure. This was not, it’s very relaxing, low key, laid back.”