by Joe Bridwell
Cataract, Bullett Canyon, Cedar Mesa, se Utah
+Liliana Pellegrini +Davor Maksimovic +Alain Besnet; You guys +1’d Joe @ Bullett Canyon Cataract. That pic is above the real cataract. It’s downhill from my pointing arm. Thought you guys would like to know, “… the Rest of the Story!”
Bullett Canyon was a water source for ancient Anasazi 1000 years ago. The Canyon is located in se Utah on Cedar Mesa. The hike is middle-of-the-road; if wet or snow, it would be really hard to get back up this steep feature.
The Four Corners area is internationally known for red rock canyons. Tony Hillerman and Scott Momaday have written extensively about monsoon season and incredible thunderstorms which develop. Thunderstorms are a late summer complement to alluring beauty of the sw United States.
My tripod was set up near a trickle of water. Coming down the cataract, it’s maybe 6 inches wide.
Now imagine a thunderstorm east up Bullett headwaters. Canyon sandstone is impervious. Any water that descends sharp canyon walls becomes a rushing torrent on the floor. Sand, small rocks, little boulders, tree limbs, even tree trunks get caught up in the flood.
Be very careful if you go in monsoon season. I really wouldn’t want an 8 foot wall of water appearing at the top of the cataract. Mind you, it’s moving 60 miles an hour to trap and possibly decimate me in a place like this!
Yet, on mesa tops, such rainfall gave real food both for the Anasazi and crops they grew. Beyond that, monsoon rains over thousands of years carved slot canyons and hoodoos of the sw US.