Coyote Gulch, UT
It’s four days before my birthday and we’re in my favorite place in the world. Let’s just call it “Hidden Canyon.” This is a place I’ve visited many times. I would describe Hidden Canyon as any place that a dry slickrock desert canyon winds its way down to a spring, which eventually becomes a full on stream, bursting of life. This magical combination of deep desert canyon, dry desert air, sparkling water, and brilliant blue sky creates the most stunningly beautiful Paradise on Earth that I can imagine. The sound of running water fills the canyon along with butterflies, birds, frogs and lizards. The filtered shade of cottonwood trees and the soft sandy beaches invite barefoot walking, sunbathing, and general lollygagging. We have made camp tonight on one of these sandy beaches. The sun is already down, behind the canyon walls, but the rocks still hold the heat. The air is pleasingly warm. We sit, Valerie and I, with our toes buried in the sand, still warm from a day of dazzling sunshine, as we enjoy tonight’s feature presentation of shadow and light on the towering canyon walls surrounding us. Behind us, we notice that high up on a grassy knoll, several deer graze peacefully alone. Tomorrow we will hike through the clear ankle deep water that flows through Coyote Gulch. Along the way we will pass waterfalls, natural bridges, alcoves, and other treasures that this beautiful desert canyon is sure to behold. Our hearts are light as a feather, and our dreams float on the warm desert wind like fairy tales through the night.