Guidelines: Dragons and Box Springs


By Simon Ambit

Our area is rich with outdoor recreational opportunities, and one that many people may not know about is dragon hunting. I’ve heard about it for years, but until this recent spring, I had never taken the opportunity. Equipped with sack lunches, walking sticks, hydration packs and hiking shoes, we drove toward the town of Green River, Utah.

West of Green River and on the south end of the San Rafael Swell, you can find the lair of the black dragon. Black Dragon Canyon is a great and very easy hike for nearly anyone wanting to get out and see some great terrain and a large wall of petroglyphs, including the famous Black Dragon.

As fun as it was to hike in on The Dragon, I personally enjoyed a neighboring hike just a little bit more. Just west of Black Dragon Canyon is a small and much less well known canyon often referred to as Box Spring Canyon. This hike was overgrown with dense vegetation and required a bit more work and patience (for a family with young kids) to complete.

After winding along a sandy wash bottom, across sandstone outcroppings, thru entanglements of willows and undergrowth, you finally break out into the back of the canyon. This is the point at which the hike is most worth the work. There, in the dryness of the desert and in the hidden catch of this nearly unknown canyon, lies a large pool of water, shear walls of natural beauty and an oasis of trees and grass.

My wife and I enjoyed the serene scenes as the kids played in the dirt, climbed along the walls and transformed flying rocks into dancing ripples of water that awakened a commotion from the pond below.

As I took a moment to sit on the bank of the pool, I was surrounded by nearly all that matters the absolute most to me in this whole world. There was no cell phone, there was no bank account and there was no traffic, no time clock, nor a time zone. It was simply me, my wife and our little family. And for that moment, in that little spot, things were perfect!

That moment helped me come to the realization that life can be full of challenges. We may have to traverse across the rocky terrain of disappointment, or hack our way through the willows and overgrowth of setbacks, and there will be times that the sun seems to bake upon our necks and the pesky gnats of adversity buzz in our ears for us to turn around and quit. But we don’t stop. We enjoy the journey for the victory it is as we overcome these hurdles. Then, after the work has been done and the grit has been ground, we come to token points along the trail where we get to relax at the oasis, play in the shade and realize that life can be perfect! Peace is found in simple things being enjoyed with the closest of people. Even if only for a moment, allow your life to be peaceful this week!