Ancient bristlecone pine

Opposite Thanksgiving

If you are looking for solitude during Thanksgiving, let me recommend Great Basin National Park. We used it as a halfway point on our drive from SLC to Bishop, CA. After a short-ish hike to a very cool arch tucked away in the bottom corner of the park, we found a sweet and compact camp site in a parallel canyon. It dead-ends at a trailhead a few miles up, and we verified that we were the only people in the canyon.

Almost clear skies on Grand Mesa!

Taking advice

Stopping in at the local fly or bike shop and asking for advice is a well established ritual, especially if you are in a new area. What river is fishing well? What flies are working? What are the trail conditions? What’s the local fave ride? Is there good camping somewhere? At the bike shop, I might buy a map or a pair of socks. At the fly shop, I will get some dry flies. But how do you know when

Mack taking a nap

Gasoline

A friend of mine shared a video with me recently, which is funny and touching and inspiring. This guy, Isaac, had been in a terrible skydiving accident and was not expected to walk again. In the video he hikes and scrambles to the top of a volcano, despite not having quads or sensation in his left leg. One of my favorite parts of the video shows him driving a motorcycle, “A real motorcycle, not a dumbass little scooter.” To shift

Mack and bald eagles.

Are you an optimist?

If you find the last dispersed camping spot in the canyon are you bothered by the dust, noise, and lack of privacy? Or are you grateful that the canyon is beautiful and the camping free? What if the camping spot is in a lumpy field of fresh horse poop? What if your dogs love to eat horse poop? What if nearby cows are bellowing throughout the night? And a wildfire nearby is filling the valley with smoke? Would you describe

Fork on a stick at Hams Fork

Hams Fork, Again

My previous post on Hams Fork is by far the most popular on this blog so far. I have no data on whether what I wrote was useful, but it made me think about how odd the valley was last time we went, and so we took another trip there last weekend. As we rolled down Hams Fork Road there were multiple wilderness fire camps, large highway signs about fire activity and road closures. We passed fields of tents, fire

storm rolling in, fishlake NF

Our New Camping Soundtrack

You will be happy to know that I have taken up the ukulele! Are you asking why? I could answer that it has been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time (which is true), but really it was just a notion of something I would like to do someday. I can’t say why, exactly, my brain decided that last Friday was THE DAY. I asked my co-worker, casually, what sort of ukulele a beginner might buy that they

The river of sticks and scared fish

It is the nature of exploration that not every adventure will be the best adventure. Last weekend we drove out to the West Fork of the Duchesne River. We’d heard rumors that this was a worthy river and fishing great, and just our style. It’s a longish drive on pavement and the dirt road is rough, but we figured it was day-trippable from the city. For the first few miles we drove on a forest service road that goes through

Clouds make the day

Clouds make the day!

My dad and I are big fans of clouds. Recently he wrote to me, “Clouds make the day.” Hell yes, they do! Watching clouds and describing their shape-shifting journey is one of my favorite past-times. A rocket ship turns into a slam-dunking basketball player turns into a cinnamon roll, and so on. Every now and then I think it would be nice to be able to identify the different types of clouds (I am fairly confident I can identify a

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