We hike the muddy slopes of the plateau,
A dozen persons roughly in a line,
The heart of canyon country down below,
LaVerkin Creek’s hot sun and flies behind.
With suffering invited, we endure;
Distinguish between injury and pain;
Accept the challenge’s imprimatur.
We rest in shade, then hoist our packs again.
Here in the wilderness we all learn more
Than knots and how to hang a bag of food.
At peace, we let these sands from ancient shores
Transmute our loneliness to solitude.
This hardship, trial, work we feign deplore
Unites us. More: ‘lets us ourselves explore.