|sandstone travel above the Escalante River canyon|
I just spent 20 days as a guide teaching lightweight expeditioning skills down in the Escalante region of the Grand Staircase National Monument. I was awoken by a lone owl out my window in Idaho in the pre-dawn on the morning I began my drive down to southern Utah.
I never once slept in a tent, instead I was simply lying out under the stars. I heard an owl on almost every night. Once, while sitting up in my sleeping bag in the minutes before bedtime, as I was peering out into the darkness, I saw a white owl zip past me, quite close, in the glow of my headlamp.
I also heard it right above me in tree i was sleeping under. I feel pretty strogly that the call matched a western screech-owl. This is what I heard.
Right now I'm tired, creaky, sunburned and more deeply alive. There is a heartfelt and rejuvenating value to spending time in wild places.