Dolev the Tour Guide
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The Wave and Rain


 
 

You finally have a long weekend and it magically falls on a full moon night. You make plans weeks in advance to get out of town and go out into nature, and as it so happens (Murphey's Law, right?) the skies begin to overcast and little drops of water begin to hit your windshield.
Are you really going to let the rain destroy your weekend? No! In fact, you are extremely lucky to see rain fall in the desert. How do you think all the formations of the American Southwest were shaped? Take "The Wave" for example, a sandstone feature managed by the Bureau of Land Management near Kanab, Arizona. It is a u-shaped curve in the rock, similar to a skateboarding ramp, composed of layers of different shades of red sandstone that have been slowly eroded away over time by wind and flash floods. When it rains, the rock glistens as the colors come alive and little waterfalls flow from the surrounding rock faces.
Only twenty people are allowed to hike to “The Wave” each day so you would already be lucky to win authorization. The longer you plan in advance, the better chances you have to win a permit from the complex lottery system (information available at http://www.blm.gov/az/st/en/arolrsmain/paria/coyote_buttes/permits.html). Consider yourself even luckier if it happens to rain on the day that you have won the permit for. Not only does the wave come through with shining glitters, but the sand dunes you have to traverse on the three-mile hike to get there harden to provide you easier walking. This is a win-win situation! Of course the full moon is another story. And if you happen to see “The Wave” on a sunny day, you are just as lucky!