You are one of our valued guests at Dreamland Safari Tours. Thanks for being along for the adventure.
Welcome back to our latest edition of the Desert Post! The seasons are rockin’ by just a little too fast this year, it seems—hard to believe we’re already halfway through July.  But there’s still plenty of time left to savor the long days, late sunsets, and myriad opportunities for backcountry adventure that beckon while the weather is warm, and as always, we’d love to have you join us.  Read on to find out more about the delicate ecology that surrounds us, as well as the unique desert sightseeing opportunities that await those who venture out during the “monsoon” season.  Here’s what your favorite Dreamland crowd is up to this time…
With the long-standing drought still in full effect throughout the desert Southwest (99.6% of Utah are in severe drought, and 83% are in extreme drought!), water levels everywhere are dangerously low, and both large-scale and small-scale water conservation has never been so vital.  Seasoned desert dwellers always have one eye on their daily water usage, making sure to minimize their water consumption in the home by turning off faucets and maintaining eco-friendly yards with native plants rather than thirsty lawns, along with a thousand other little tricks to safeguard the land by respecting the resources that keep it alive.  And because visitor traffic also makes up a significant portion of water use in any given area, you can do your part by following these quick and easy Water Conservation Tips during your epic desert adventures.  Help us locals cut back on water waste and create a better balance to protect our natural resources.
And where monsoon storms do bring much-needed water, we find...
Monsoon storms and showers are brewing, and we’re beyond stoked to see some much-needed water coming back to the land, even if it is just a drop in the bucket these days.  Monsoons are an essential part of the rhythm of desert ecology, and not only do cloud-studded skies make for excellent photography opportunities, but folks lucky enough to experience desert life in those rare “watery” moments are in for a treat as the land transforms itself.  Dragon-breath winds are replaced by cool, earthy breezes and welcome shade as rain clouds develop, and as long as you’re hiking well away from potential flood zones, the feel of rain on your face in the midst of such a dry environment can be a rare pleasure for those braving the summer temperatures out West.  Not only that, but with enough rain, places like White Pocket and South Coyote Buttes collect rare, mirror-like pools that host their own temporary microcosms of life, and one of the more fascinating denizens of these fleeting mini-ecosystems is the fairy shrimp.  With eggs that can lie dormant up to ten years waiting for the rains to fall, these tiny crustaceans know how to squeeze a whole life cycle into those rare days and weeks of precious water.  For a more in-depth look at these amazing critters, check out “The Memory of Water,” an in-depth look at life within seasonal pools, written by critically acclaimed writer and desert explorer Craig Childs.
With monsoon rains come unique hazards, and every seasoned desert guide has a flash-flood story or two.  Good planning and forethought are essential components to keeping safe during flood season, because it’s much easier than you might think to run afoul of an unexpected rush of water that descends out of nowhere, as this amateur footage of a 2017 flash flood in Buckskin Wash will demonstrate. Hiking in slot canyons when rain clouds darken the skies is a big no-no, and even when the skies are clear as anything, those floods can still show up:  wayward children of faraway storms, running wild across the landscape.  Always check the weather forecast for the whole region when venturing into monster slot canyons like Buckskin Gulch, and even smaller slots like Peekaboo deserve respect. For further insight into just how dramatic these floods can become, take a look at our blog post “Shock and Awe:  Flash Floods in the Desert,” by veteran Dreamland guide Andrea Jasper.  The stats and the stories will blow you away!
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Whatever the weather may have in store, we hope you’ll join us next month as we find creative new ways to celebrate the splendor of the skies here in red rock country.  The cyclical Perseid meteor shower will start up again very soon as the Earth crosses the orbital path of Comet Swift-Tuttle, and while you can catch a glimpse of these meteors anytime between July 14th and September 1st, we’re making it a point to lead an overnight excursion to White Pocket from August 11-12 to experience these fabulous “shooting stars” at their absolute peak. Although we will also have to contend with a much brighter moon this year, the opportunity to see this celestial display of up to 90 meteors per hour is still well worth it, and with attentive Dreamland guides to provide a smooth camping experience and an amazing tour, you’ll come away from this trip with pictures and memories to last a lifetime.  (Can’t make the hike but still want to watch the show from your own corner of the night sky?  Take a closer look at this article for a comprehensive overview.)
Parting words. 
From adventure to adventure each year, we love providing our guests with epic desert experiences, and we love hearing your feedback. This year, we’re proud to announce that Dreamland has won Tripadvisor’s much-coveted annual Travelers’ Choice Award for the eleventh year running!  A special shout-out to all of our awesome guests who make this endeavor possible; we couldn’t have done it without you.  So wherever you happen to be, and wherever your current path is leading you, be sure to keep on adventuring and come back and visit us when you can.  

See you on the trail!
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