Hurricane Wash in the Escalante Canyons, Utah, 2010.
It's early February and, as happens every year, my thoughts are turning away from skiing (despite the new foot of snow in the mountains) and towards the Utah desert. Because I'm locked into spring teaching, my big opportunity to head south comes in a little over a month with our Spring Break. Ellen, Bei and I have made a family tradition of March backpacking trips--most recently in Grand Gulch or the Escalante canyons. Each year, as Bei gets older, we hike a little farther, but are still modest in our aspirations. One of the great thing about the canyons is that you don't need to cover much ground. The fun is in the exploring--dropping packs, setting up camp, and fanning out to look for hidden secrets. In Grand Gulch ruins abound, and it is endlessly fascinating to try to find them. In the Escalante, the canyons are exquisite ribbons of green cut into a sea of orange slickrock, and one doesn't need to move very far to enjoy them.
This year, we may be joined by another family--friends from here in Laramie. I need to figure out where we should go--so much desert, so little time.
Bei, Cedar Mesa, 2007.
Bei, Peekaboo Canyon, Escalante, 2008.
Bei, Turkey Pen ruin, Grand Gulch, 2009.
Bei in Coyote Gulch (Escalante) in 2010.
Bei, Bullet Canyon (Grand Gulch), 2011.