Showing posts from 2014

October RiSE

There wasn't much mystery in coining the title for this blog a few years ago; Cornering Consciousness was not only the intent of our adventures, but also the outcome of the process. And in all that we've done so far we have yet to have that consciousness manifest with such impact as it was in our latest foray into the desert.

This one was with more conventional means and a lot less gear. We drove to Jean, Nevada where we boarded a bus that took us a few miles east into the Mojave desert to a dry lake bed. This one had been modified a bit.

We were making our way to the venue of the RiSE Lantern Festival. We ordered tickets for this event back in September when Mindy read about it on her Facebook feed. She's wanted to be part of this ancient rite for a long time, an item on her bucket list, and we've both been looking for something to lighten the burden of October for me. We watched their video and were converted.

Following their email updates and instructions about the…

Hurricane to Hell

One of the many great things technology has done for mankind is diminish the frequency of the turn of phrase, there's only one way to find out, the very words uttered (or so we imagine), when Lorrel "Sixty" McInnely put his bulldozer in gear towing a compressor across two felled lodgepole pines that spanned the gap of Box-Death Hollow fifteen hundred feet below. I can also imagine that "Sixty" got his name when it was discovered that one of his testes weighed thirty pounds. 
But, I'll come back to the rest of the story in a minute.
We've gone all Summer without a true breaking out into the backcountry save for a day trip late July, so on the last weekend of the season we set out to drive and camp along the road that goes to Hell's Backbone on the Grand Staircase National Monument. We packed up Friday evening and left Hurricane early Saturday morning, getting into Zion Canyon when the sun was up above the east rim.  If you've never made the Utah…

Skutumpah to Willis Creek Canyon

It was really more by accident that we came across the Willis Creek Trail. On Pioneer Day morning we were looking for dog-friendly day hikes close to Hurricane, something that would get us out of the hottest day of the year so far, with water for Ginger and Maryann. In her search, Mindy found a hiking trail, Willis Creek, near Kolob Reservoir. When she went back to search Willis Creek, a different spot came up, this one with the promise of slot canyons.

And a bit of pioneer history, it turns out, since Mormon Pioneer, Utah Scapegoat, Colorado Plateau resident, Federal fugitive and Indian Farmer John D. Lee was one who coined the name "Skutumpah," borrowing a Paiute term meaning "an area where rabbit brush grows and squirrels can be found," arguably, Skutumpah is much less of a mouthful.

In 1866 a group of Mormon pioneers were sent to Green River from St. George to help efforts in the Blackhawk War. They traveled through Johnson Canyon to Cannonville where a few me…