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Showing posts from May, 2013

On the Other Side

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I believe it was Squaw Creek that began a recurring dream I have. I used to hike it during the summers I spent as an adolescent at Squaw Valley, California, every time connecting to something that pushes one on to see what’s next, what’s on the other side, of anything.

The dream is discovering something incredible just beyond the scope of my known world. Living in the suburban sprawl of the Bay Area I get that, but living here in Southern Utah there’s three hundred sixty degrees of what looks like the end of the world, geology that is not only daunting if not prohibitive to traverse (the slice of I-15 notwithstanding), and it challenges you to imagine what’s on the other side.

I’ve realized the dream a number of times, Toroweep, The Barracks, The Grand Staircase, and over this past weekend, our first foray into exploring and writing a series about the Parashant National Monument, the Grand Canyon’s lesser known sister. And I’m taking a risk here in violating that lesser known aspect …

Sacred Ground

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A little over nineteen miles from my doorstep is the Red Cliffs Recreation Area, a BLM piece of land that hosts early Jurassic dinosaur tracks, remnants from the Anasazi, and a beautiful little box canyon that tempts lesser-aware visitors to swim in her pools.

I say that because the small river that's cut this canyon flows through hundreds of acres of largely populated pasture land up Pine Valley mountain before it deposits all kinds of biology in her red basins. You really don't want to swim in it, though that's a secret we like to keep to ourselves.

Besides dinosaurs and natives, I have history here, too. It's a sacred place to me, thirty years of memories beginning as a college student, then as a father, now as a companion, and always as a photographer. Thirty years is enough time to watch a massive lightning-struck juniper turn into the elephant tree, to see the thumb of the Okay rock vanish leaving its dangling forefinger, and to witness the gradual defacing of w…