Photo Essay

Utah Raw


I hadn't seen myself for days. And I liked it.

I was on assignment to cover a women's rafting expedition in Desolation-Gray Canyon of the Green River for five days. Thirty-one of us left any form of a beauty regime (and all mirrors!) back in the cultural chaos from which we came. (Okay, I packed lip balm and deodorant...I'm not a complete heathen.)

Days and nights were measured by landmark outcroppings, in lavender-hues of twilight, in the animal paw prints next to my sleeping bag, in putting on wet socks, in turning my clothes inside out for a "new" day's wear, in tears of laughter from campfire roundabouts, in appropriate spots to squat.

Hiking, paddling, kayaking, talking, floating, swimming, camping...and so our rhythms progressed as we gained distance on Moab, Utah, our end point.

On the last morning of the trip a riffling through my backpack led to an incredible discovery: soap! Untouched and perfectly wrapped soap, so hard and so Salt Lake City Best Western. I knew eight hours from then I had to board a plane and feared flinging sand grains on anyone within an arm's length of me.

All social graces aside, I walked to the river's edge with my beautiful soap. Got naked, tore its paper off, and took a plunge. My teeth clattered uncontrollably. Granted, it wasn't the cleanest bath I ever took but it was the prettiest one. Sandstone sheer cliffs watched over me. This was immersion journalism at its finest.

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5 responses

  • dp *

    dp * gave props (21 May 2009):

    Hell yes! This is a rockin' piece. Thanks for the ride. dp

  • Tricia Louvar

    Tricia Louvar gave props (29 Jun 2009):

    thx for stopping by....

  • Chrisso Newton

    Chrisso Newton (Deleted) said (7 Dec 2009):

    Have to agree (and vote!) - a great journey!

  • Debrah Leonard

    Debrah Leonard (Deleted) gave props (28 Jan 2010):

    Tricia, I want to read more.... next story, please.

  • Nicolette de Joncaire

    Nicolette de Joncaire   gave props (28 Jul 2010):

    Cool story, nice humour. Thank you

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