A Utah Senator says that setting aside this land as part of the National Parks is “a hasty, impetuous action to lock up the area, a step that the people of Utah and the nation would regret for centuries.” A Deseret News article asserts there is “no other place in the state which [has] greater potential for mineral production.” A Moab Times Independent editorial states, “We wholeheartedly agree that Utahans cannot allow vast, potentially-rich tracts of land to be ‘locked’ into reserves that … [Read more...] about National Monuments: Land Grab or Legacy?
DAY FOUR Up at first light, I break camp as the canyon slowly becomes day. I am on the trail as the first rays of sunlight hit the upper walls of the canyon. As I hike these last few miles, I am filled with a great sense of energy and lightness. Yes, my pack is a bit lighter, having eaten most of the food I packed in, but that’s not really the reason for this feeling. Sixty feels pretty darn good if you ask me! Quiet, silence, peacefulness, stillness – these words all come to mind as I … [Read more...] about Redrock Wilderness Retreat, Part 4
DAY THREE Except for a gusty wind that woke me several times, I had a warmer and better sleep last night. I climb out of the tent to a cloudless, desert blue sky. Oatmeal, nuts and tea are my fuel for a hike that, at this moment, I am not sure how far will be. I start up the wash where I get my water and continue until I reach an unpassable pass were it not for the two ladders the Park Service has conveniently provided. Without them, it would be a quick mile hike to a fifteen foot vertical … [Read more...] about A Redrock Wilderness Retreat, Part 3
DAY TWO I slept cold and poorly last night. The slow leak in the air mattress, which eventually eliminated the insulating layer of air between me and the cold rock underneath, might have had something to do with it. I was happy to see the light of the new day through the walls of the tent. Tonight I think I’ll do a middle-of-the-night refill and see if that helps. I decide to warm my slowly waking body by exploring around the camp. Surrounded by slabs of slickrock poised at every angle, … [Read more...] about A Redrock Wilderness Retreat, Part 2
DAY ONE The clock in the car reads 6:21 as I pull out of my morning driveway and head down the dirt road. Destination: Elephant Canyon, Utah! I listen to NPR as I work my way south towards I-25, and then west on US160. Presidential candidates Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Marco Rubio, Hillary Clinton, and Ted Cruz seem to monopolize the news stories. Especially Donald Trump. I climb La Veta Pass and am happy to lose reception. Enough of Donald. I leave Cortez on Hwy 491 and immediately see … [Read more...] about A Redrock Wilderness Retreat, Part 1