There’s nothing like losing two immediate family members and attending three family funerals within the past six months to make one ponder “impermanence.”    When I used to see places like “Tripod Rocks,” I would ponder the probability that they would still be standing this time next year.  After the loss of my brother seven years my junior followed by my Dad, now I wonder if I will be… Continue reading

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

Making Hay While the Sun Shines

Now back in the shadow of Zion National Park, I have to say, it feels good to be back.    As I have moved at a fast clip through Southern Colorado, down the Green River, and across the southern state of Utah since July, this stop has been a bit of a “carrot” at the end of the stick.  I have looked forward to just “parking it” for awhile.  No more route planning, campground research, navigating unfamiliar territory, hitching and unhitching.   Just a couple of weeks to relax, visit with friends, and make my favorite time of the year, the autumn season, stretch as long as possible. 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

Seduced by a Slot Canyon

Buckskin Gulch is known as “The Longest Slot Canyon in the World!”  (Allegedly.)  Yes, I have fallen prey to “destination marketing” once again.  But it’s not just about “the longest, the tallest, the most dangerous.”  No, you see I am a sucker for a slot canyon of any length.  In fact, it’s my absolute favorite place to hike.  I can never seem to get enough Continue reading

Probing the Paria

As I continue on across the southern part of Utah, I am getting ever closer to Kanab, present home of one of my favorite bloggers, Gaelyn, better known as “Geogypsy.”   I began following Gaelyn’s blog during one of her visits to South Africa.  We corresponded this past spring as I was making my plans to visit the Grand Canyon North Rim.  She was very helpful in giving me some advice for my lofty goal to hike the “Rim to Rim.”  Unfortunately, life took a different turn Continue reading

How the West Was Lost

I have always had a strong fascination with the Native American culture.    My first cross-country road trip was at four years old when Dad bought the new Chevy Impala with the bat-wing fins on the back, loaded up the family and took of to explore Route 66.  I spent most of the trip glued to the window looking for  teepees or “Indians” on horseback on the horizon.  One of my earliest childhood memories was stopping along the roadside at an “Indian Village” to watch as they performed a ceremonial dance wearing fringed, beaded leather buckskin clothing and elaborate feather headdresses.   I was mesmerized. Continue reading

What’s in Your Bucket?

What’s in my bucket these days is rain.  Lots and lots of rain.  No, make that flash floods.  I feel as if I have hopscotched the State of Utah for an entire month, chasing favorable weather.  From the scorching heat of the Green River and Moab, to the flash flood warnings in Cedar Mesa, Utah has not been easy this year. Continue reading

The Eye of The Needles

It has finally come time to leave Canyon Rim boondock. The wagon train is hitching up and heading south to hide out in a pine forest until the storm blows over. In this case, the “storm” being the storm of school students that descend upon Utah like locusts for a four day weekend every October. It’s UEA Weekend coming up, the Utah Education and Administration conference held on Thursday and Friday, giving the kids a four day weekend from school. We learned this the hard way last year, as we found ourselves trapped in Little Wild Horse slot canyon with about 200 “little wild horses” of the two legged variety. So plans are firmly in place to avoid a repeat this year.

But I am having a tough time leaving the canyon, especially Continue reading

A “Needlework Sampler” for My Birthday

In recognition of my birthday last week, I got to pick the hike….a lot of pressure, as this is a no-win proposition with this tough crowd!  Over 80 degrees, and the Coloradans will start to melt.  Under 70, and I lose the Floridians.  Under three miles?  Not worth getting dressed for in my opinion.  Over seven, and I eliminate participants due to pets at home. Continue reading