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Our Cornering Consciousness

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Cornering Consciousness is a record of our travels, but it's also the point of our adventures - elevate our consciousness, take in the moments on the land, the water, the trails and the highway. We've gone through a few vehicles along the way - kayaks, motorcycles, mountain and road bikes, an old Miata, a Yukon, a tricked-out third generation Montero, and a Hummer H3, but for the time being we've settled into a purpose-built generation 2.5 Mitsubishi Montero with the Winter Package for overlanding.

The corners range from off-road, four-wheel drive adventuring, to mountain bike trails, lakes and the Pacific Ocean; from the Pacific Coast Highway to what we've dubbed the Grand Staircase Highway, from St. George to San Simeon, from Monument Valley to the Valley of Fire to Yosemite to Zion National Park, and dozens of secret spots in between. We're hoping you might find some inspiration from these pages to do the same.

Forced Perspective

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Scale is as elusive sometimes as color. Your brain thinks it has it dialed in and the light changes or another contrast or scope obliterates your original references and you're left to sort it all out again. I wish I could just let it be. Some of us humans are embedded with a primordial drive that tries to makes sense of things including our relationship with the environment and when that relationship is diminished on the human side, far be it for us to admit our own insignificance. I believe that's the key to peace. I'm puny and I'm fine with that.

Try to fit scale to something as transparent as the wind and admitting defeat is more difficult, at least for me, and such was the demise of our first big outing in this Montero.


I had already logged ten thousand miles on this '98 Montero in the last four months and had a reasonable amount of trust in its mechanical integrity. Purchased with 121k miles, I did all the maintenance necessary to baseline its systems, rebui…

Promontory

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The geography of my living is punctuated by great connections, like the Golden Gate Bridge, the Channel Tunnel or the Hoover Dam, though most might argue it's more separator than connector. Each are fantastic structures that bring a couple of points together through super-human feats of design and execution.

The history of my work is punctuated by more ethereal connections - culture, history, space. I've rolled camera across the planet over thirty years and with all that's archived in my brain, I forget the power and impact of stories I've documented. Both these conditions connected on this trip to Promontory Point.

Like Antelope Island's day trip, we're looking for area attractions to visit while we're sorting out our latest adventure vehicle as we prepare for this Summer's excursions across the Pacific Northwest. We set out for the Golden Spike National Monument, a place of monumental connection in the United States, Hell on Wheels not withstanding.


Antelope Island

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Our latest overland vehicle build is this 1998 Mitsubishi Montero with the Winter package option, meaning among other things it has a factory rear locker. Just what I've been looking for.

We decided to road test its latest modification, a deck for the dogs that replaces the middle seat, much like what was done in the H3 and the Gen3 Montero, and took a day trip to Antelope Island.


It's a short drive from our place in North Salt Lake, much less than Google Maps estimates. Took us maybe 45 minutes to get to the other side of the causeway.

It's the largest of ten islands located within the Great Salt Lake and is home to bison, antelope, mule deer, bighorn sheep and an amazing array of birds. We see it everyday on the commute home from downtown Salt Lake, and Mindy has grown up with a view of it from the Bountiful bench, but we've never been there until today.

Utah's State Parks has done well to manage this strip of 42 square miles. We drove the east side road to the …

Heaven Near Hanna

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The greatest casualty of my divorce some fifteen years ago is the time I wouldn't get to spend with my son and daughter. Now they're adults, a metamorphosis that happened somewhere along the way to my mid-life, and having thus arrived, those years missed taunt the days we have left to pack them up with places, experiences and memories.

That's not to say we didn't make much of the State mandated Wednesday night and every other weekend, but I'm convinced that any Utah Divorce Court judge has no goddamn idea what it means to be legally reduced to a quarter-time parent. Say what you want about being there, but to date and through no fault of my own, I've been robbed of a little over six thousand bedtime stories. Times two.

And while that's not the purest impetus for our adventures, it has something to do with finding the time to be together, outside, on the water, in a kayak, up the mountain, behind the wheel, on the trail.

For the last weekend of July, 2016, …

The MT Serenade in Moab

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Showing up in Moab at the start of the Jeep Jamboree in a Hummer H3 is excruciatingly similar to showing up at a Harley Rally with a Blackbird. Reconnecting with an old friend was the inspiration behind this trip, along with the potential to explore the iconic tracks of the area, but they were all closed unless you happened to be part of the Jamboree. We were not. And that was probably a good thing.

We slabbed to Moab on a Friday and were duly awed by the last quarter of the trip, that part of I-70 that cuts through the seemingly uninundated parts of the La Sal National Forrest area and the tip of the San Rafael Swell. We'll be back to explore their vacant backroads.

We were disturbed a bit though, not by the beautiful vistas, but by the H3 that would slam in and out of neutral whenever I opened the throttle at freeway speeds.

The slamming subsided along 191 as we made the descent into Moab. Camping along the Colorado was the appeal for us, so we took 128 east and wound our way a…