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Flash Flood: Rising rivers, wondrous waterfalls

One day, along the northern edge of the Primavera Forest, I noticed a narrow opening in a canyon wall. I stepped through and found a long passageway stretching before me. I soon discovered I was in a typical slot canyon, with vertical walls rising straight up some 70 meters, but in some places the walls were a mere two meters apart. It had a flat, unencumbered floor and I sauntered along easily, fascinated by long, shelf-like protuberances on both sides of the gully.

Well, that narrow canyon meandered this way and that and it took several return trips before I learned that it only came to an end after three kilometers. Topo maps identify this canyon as Arroyo El Carbón and you’ll find pictures and a description of it at time I visited this narrow canyon, I always wondered what it must be like during a storm. Well, slot canyons are famous for flash floods and surely there is nothing scarier than the thought of a wall of water bearing down upon you in such a confined place, washing you and your friends downstream in a jumble of tree trunks, boulders and chocolaty froth—with absolutely no place to go to escape the deluge.

Well, it just so happens that last Sunday I was two kilometers inside Arroyo El Carbón with a dozen enthusiastic members of Los Caminantes, an informal hiking group, when out of a cloudy sky a light rain began to fall.

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