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Into the Fiery Furnace

 
 
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2005 08:44 pm
As I stumbled drunkenly through the Southwest on my latest respite from the Swamp, I came across the town of Moab, Utah. Nice little town, but a bit too touristy for me. I hung in the shadows, sipped a few beers, and watched the tourists and townfolk go about their daily activity. I asked one of the passing natives what he would suggest I do for the remainder of the day. "Try the Fiery Furnace up at The Arches" he said, and walked away abruptly, apparently content that his brief encounter with the grizzled guy in the dirty coveralls had come to a merciful end. I headed to The Arches.

I pulled into the entrance to The Arches and noticed all the cars lined up to go inside. It looked like they were paying money to get in. No good, I thought. I motioned for the driver of a leaving car to roll his window down and asked him how much the entrance fee was. "Ten bucks" he said, as he quickly rolled his window up and sped off. He had the same relieved look on his face as the native back in town had.

I wasn't about to pay 10 bucks to get into some damn park. That money could be used for buying beer.

I noticed some construction going on to the left of the entrance and pulled my truck over there. There were a few guys pouring cement and I drove by them, waving as I did so, and popped out on the inside of the gate. Glancing back at the gatekeepers and determining that they hadn't noticed my illegal entrance I sped off into the bowels of the park and my rendezvous with the Fiery Furnace.

Here's what it looked like....

http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/images/largesquare/ff_overlook.jpg

Now, to put things into the proper scale with that photograph, you would be about 3% the size of a pimple on a gnat's ass.

There was a sign near the entrance saying no entrance without a guided tour by a ranger or a special hiking permit. I quickly scribbled "Special Hiking Permit" onto a piece of paper, attached it to my belt, and entered the Fiery Furnace. It was a fascinating labyrinth of towering rock. Many times I reached dead-ends and had to readjust myself. Vultures circled lazily in the hot summer sky above me.

The rock formations were quite fascinating but my attention quickly turned to the plethora of lizards which scurried about at the base of the rocks. I figured they would make good snacks for the campfire later in the day and started catching the little bastards and sticking them in my pocket. They were about two inches long. Roughly the same size as a small perch. They would indeed make a fine snack.

Then I noticed a large friggin lizard ambling up the path. It was almost as if he worked for the park. He stopped in front of a bush, stuck his head inside, and pulled back with a candy bar wrapper in his mouth. I started chuckling and figured I'd take this guy home for a pet. I picked him up and he struggled fiercely, but I managed to put him head first into my left front trouser pocket. The lizard was about twelve inches long and quite fat. He struggled to escape and I could see his head straining against the fabric on my coveralls as attempted to push his way out of the denim prison.

I finished my tour and decided to head to town for some beer. Beer and small lizard snacks around the campfire. Isn't that what life is all about?

Now, as I'm walking down the street, looking for the liquor store, I noticed an unusually high amount of women smiling at me, winking, and thrusting scraps of paper into my hand with their telephone number written down. Then I felt something and looked down to see the giant lizard trying to push his way out of my coveralls. So that was the trick to attracting women, I thought. Put a large, writhing lizard in your front pocket. I made a mental note to tell Kicky and Slappy about this valuable information.

I found the liquor store, purchased some beer, fought off several large women in flowered dresses, and headed to my campsite.

There I dined on lizards on the bank of a lazy river with a majestic red cliff towering above me on the far bank.

It was very peaceful.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,395 • Replies: 16
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2005 08:49 pm
What did you name your lizard?
0 Replies
 
gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2005 08:54 pm
Pokey
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2005 09:06 pm
Of course!

That image looks a lot like Bryce Canyon.
0 Replies
 
gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2005 09:32 pm
I didn't make it to Bryce Canyon. Did Canyonland and The Arches. A friend of mine died at Bryce Canyon a few years back. Turned over in his sleep and rolled off a cliff.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2005 09:33 pm
Seriously?
0 Replies
 
gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2005 09:33 pm
Yep
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2005 09:36 pm
I didn't think you could camp that close to the actually edge.
0 Replies
 
gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2005 09:37 pm
Not legally.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2005 09:38 pm
Ah. Well, sorry to hear that, all the same.
0 Replies
 
gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2005 09:39 pm
**** happens
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2005 09:39 pm
<nodding>

So. What else did you do out there?
0 Replies
 
kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2005 09:46 pm
So THAT'S the secret to meeting women. And all this time I've been just going up and screaming "HI! I'M SO HORNY!" in their faces.

That lizard thing sounds like a better plan.
0 Replies
 
kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2005 09:46 pm
Gus, you were really out in the mountains all this time? Damn, you really do live a charmed life.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2005 10:39 pm
Hmmm, I guessed he was in the Himalayas. Not all that far off re trekking.
0 Replies
 
kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jul, 2005 01:05 am
Re: Into the Fiery Furnace
gustavratzenhofer wrote:
Now, to put things into the proper scale with that photograph, you would be about 3% the size of a pimple on a gnat's ass.


Which, coincidentally, is also about 3% the size of a dust mite's balls. Makes you think...
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jul, 2005 09:54 am
gustavratzenhofer wrote:
I didn't make it to Bryce Canyon. Did Canyonland and The Arches. A friend of mine died at Bryce Canyon a few years back. Turned over in his sleep and rolled off a cliff.


That's not good.
Good you were sleeping on the inside that night.

More pix please.
0 Replies
 
 

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