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Sunday, October 15, 2017

A Random Canyon Hike, On The Road In Utah...

“A person reproduces themselves by what he has done.” Boris Mikhailov, writer/photographer.

And this, is what we “do.” It’s a Verb, and we are but a couple  of subservient outdoor Nouns. 

In the scheme of life and death, with all the celebration and suffering that accompanies the minuscule span betwixt the two, how we spend the remaining sand in our "hourglass" sometimes feels a tad indulgent...like a guilty pleasure, if you will, especially when sizing up options available to the rest of the world. It doesn’t cure cancer, reduce tensions in the Middle East, or ease starvation. But if Boris is right, perhaps a small legacy will come as a consequence of our example of the mental and physical benefits of outdoor activity.    

But leave it to a New York Times article to burst our bubble and comfort couch potatoes all across America. The piece suggests that a recent "large sample" study in Europe revealed that there were no significant additional longevity benefits between subjects who did 30 minute walks and those who spent hours pushing aerobic thresholds. Well shit! Next thing you know they'll renege on the antioxidant promises retarding Dark Chocolate and Red Wine :((.  Absurd contradictions among health studies are so confusing, if not infuriating. I mean, what's a person to "do!"

What we "do" certainly isn't getting any easier over time. In fact, there are days (like today) when I question the efficacy of practicing what we preach. Doing what used to be a breeze, feels more like a tempest these days. Throw in "new studies" like the one in the New York Times and it's almost enough to make a guy throw in the "towel."  I'm left pondering whether it's worth the bother, expense, and retribution of aches and pains. 

But then we stumble across someplace that renews our souls and sends our spirits soaring... 

Oh yeah, this is why we do what we do, Not so much to add years to our lives, but to add life to our years. 

Boondocked at the foot of the San Rafael Swell, a massive uplift that rises out of Utah's red-dirt desert like some fossilized skeletal backbone, we chose a random wash out Goldie's front door. We were soon swallowed by one of the many narrow sandstone canyons that serve as "drains" for runoff. We followed curiosity, per usual, swinging counterclockwise on old uranium mine roads that crisscross the area's backcountry. A colorful butte caught our attention, and we made our way toward it to get a better look. I'm not sure how, but we ended up in another canyon...which we hoped would turn this hike from "out-and-back" to "loop." 

It took some scrambling around pour-offs, but after a 4 hour investment we ended up right back at camp Goldie. Just a lovely, lovely hike, full of dazzling color and formations. 
As they say, No risk, no reward. No guts, no glory. No investment, no return :)).


  1. I boondocked for a couple of weeks at the base of the swell, big wide spot. Treasured memories of the views to the east and the canyons to the west. It was perfect. Went back the last time to that spot in 2005 and it was overrun with 4 wheelers and big pickup trucks. Sounds like you had that world to yourself. Loved seeing the photos even though I probably never found the same canyons, (I'm not that good with high pour overs) I still wandered similar ones.

  2. Back in the Boon Docks, but oh what a lovely neighborhood to be hanging out in. We have seen that San Rafael reef many times from 30k ft and it always has been one of the most impressive sights to view crossing the United States. Not to shabby from I-70 either. Looks like you will have nice temp's for the next 10 days so take it easy and keep on eating the dark chocolate and have a bottle of a good red once in a while :)

  3. Awesome canyon choice! So much beauty and very cool formations!

  4. I do it because I love it. That’s it. If I live another day, fine. If it’s another decade or longer even better to experience new sights and sounds.
    Sitting here outside Virgin I hear the schrill scream of a hawk hunting for food. I love it as I sip my drug of choice.

  5. I can't wait to experience Utah!

  6. Wow, gorgeous photography! This part of the country is so incredibly beautiful. Great post.

  7. Beautiful opening musings. Souls and spirits soaring . . . More life in our years. Exactly! Looks like a gorgeous spot you have there. Hope it stats solitary.

  8. My kinda "roads." Congrats!!!

  9. I like the "banner" in bl & wh. REally adds to the kinesthetic experience...so to speak. (Can almost feeel the bumps on the rock.)


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