Many Pools, Many Favorites, and Many Memories

I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite hike in southern Utah.  I have loved them all.  So many different personalities from the cold dark canyons of Buckskin to the sunny warm glow of little Snow Canyon.   Each one has something spectacular to offer, though it’s not always about “The Destination.”  Some offer an ever changing variety.  For this reason, if forced to pick a favorite, the “Many Pools” hike in eastern Zion has to rank way up there.   It’s like Forest Gump’s box of chocolates; Continue reading

Fifty Shades of Sandstone

The day after the big adventure in the slot canyon warrants a late start.  Mornings have been cold here in the Paria River Gravel Pit, so the last thing I want to do is put on a pair of wet, cold, sandy hiking boots.  So Chris and I agree to meet up mid-day and explore some of the nearby area. Continue reading

What’s Up At Gilbert Ray

Well, the mercury for one.  It reached 93 degrees here.  The Saguaro National Park brochure says the average temperature for this time of year is 72 degrees.  Next year is the park’s 100th birthday.  This latest run of high temperatures makes me wonder if perhaps they have not updated the chart since establishing the park back in 1916. Continue reading

An Agenda in Tucson

I fell in love with Tucson when I visited last year, but my time was limited.  I was on my own version of the Amazing Race to make it to Oregon in time for the spring Skinnie Winnie Rally, so I limited myself to three nights in both parks; Catalina and Gilbert Ray.   I loved both of them equally for their different surroundings, so this year, I vowed to return and stay until I felt like I’d had my fill. Continue reading

Flat Out on the Flat Iron

Having extended my stay in the overflow lot in McDowell for four straight days, I grow weary of the “day to day availability game,” so I decide to move over to Lost Dutchman State Park. I want a closer look at the Superstition Mountains I have been admiring from a distance all week. But being high season, Lost Dutchman is also full. Continue reading

If You Want to Find Out Who Your Friends Are, Stop Blogging!

That is not meant as a slam, instead it is meant as a “Thank you” to the friends and followers who have sent personal notes to check in and see if I am doing okay, since as one friend put it, “You’ve gone dark.” Your notes of care and concern mean a lot to me.

I temporarily lost my blogging mojo. Continue reading

Back to the Wash to Wash My Spirit Clean

“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” ~ John Muir

When I asked Mark and Bobbie for recommendations on Valley of Fire hikes, both stressed emphatically, “You’ve got to hike the wash!”   Of course, this means an unofficial, unmarked, unmaintained trail, which makes me a bit uneasy as a solo hiker, not having done much exploring of unofficial trails.  But the great thing about hiking a wash is that the trail has been marked by nature.  Just follow the gully, and you can’t go wrong.  Continue reading

Snow Canyon, Thou Restoreth My Soul…

We all have that “go to” place when our soul needs nourishing.  A place where we can seek solace.  Regain our center.   Connect to whatever form of source that makes our heart sing.  For some, it may be a favorite chair with a cup of tea.  For others, a building with a steeple on top.  And for yet others, the majestic mountains of Zion National Park.

Since I first visited Snow Canyon State Park outside of St George, UT back in 2006, it felt like nourishment for my soul.  Continue reading