I’ve been coming to the desert of southern Utah every spring and fall since I was 21. It’s always good to know I can never run out of places to explore.
My friend Char brought lamb curry, and with a little wine by the campfire, with the stars, next to the Colorado River – a finer dinner couldn’t be had in NYC.
Living under the stars gets in your soul. In my twenties, I spent a couple of summers as a Wilderness Ranger, hiking the red rock country of Sedona, Arizona. Exploring old line camps, skinny dipping in remote swimming holes, and cooling off with cold ones on the deck of our ranger housing by Oak Creek canyon. The conversations on that deck, the friendships and adventures, changed everything.
I am so lucky to now live only a weekend’s drive from the glorious canyon country Utah is. It’s floors, bending and cracking and turning and pouring into canyons, until they make their way down to the Grand Canyon – the motherlode of adventures.
Edward Abbey, hero to twenty-somethings, author and environmentalist of the west, was the first wilderness ranger in Arches National Park of southern Utah. If you want to read the west’s Sand County Almanac, well Desert Solitaire is it. In his immortal words …
“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.”
What more is there to say?