All the surrounding slopes are spills of rocks.
The fauna itemized are typical,
Even now, but would have been richer, then.
It’s an assumption humans were rarer.
Local flyers claim the land was sacred,
There aren’t many archeological
Sites of habitation in the canyon,
However, the reader might bear in mind,
Many uninhabited sites were not.
The Holocene climate has been stable
Up to recently. Not so the Ice Age,
Although there were never any glaciers
In the vicinity of this canyon.
Mammoths and camels may have wandered through.
Mostly dry a long time, in any case.
Mormon pioneers settled and began
Ranching in the late nineteenth century.
From here on the narrative is hearsay,
Mostly, from conversations with locals.
A neighbor said it used to be a ranch
A convenience store clerk told the story
Of the family renting tourists horses.
A coffee-shop owner told the story
Of the pork slaughterhouse and a realtor
Added the detail of the park rangers.
Someone said there used to be parties there.
The restaurateur did rebuild it,
Was a local character and marshal
Of the annual St Paddy’s parade.
He died a few days after the parade
One year, not long after he sold the place.
The couple were real. They had a daughter.
They divorced. The wife’s parents bought the place.
Between them, the younger and older pair
Added a roof, new plumbing, new flooring,
And a variety of new doors, paint,
Windows, drainage, and, of course, furnishings.
The young wife and, afterwards, her mother
Saw desert tortoises on morning hikes
Up higher in the canyon a few times.
The detail of the tortoise by the wall
Was wishful thinking, imagined by one
Incapable of hiking the canyon.