All Humans Are Welcome Here!

Category : Hiking

Looking down on the Esplanade, trying to remember to look at my footing, not the scenery! What a gorgeous morning!

When I Almost Killed George Steck

TL;DR Lucky for him, George Steck is already dead. I was just very mad at him for a couple days for suggesting anyone hike this section of the Esplanade in the Grand Canyon. In hindsight I myself wonder what I was doing trudging through sometimes hip deep snow drifts in a blizzard to Monument Point. But nevermind that, it’s another story. This story starts at the Bill Hall Monument Point trailhead, where I began by borrowing a few small bottles of water from the back of a pickup truck loaded with several dozen gallons. Gee I wondered, what was that person told? Obviously not the weather forecast! What’s wonderful about snow and rain in the Grand Canyon is it means… continue reading

Cabin 140 on the North Rim

Hello from cabin 140 on the North Rim! I’m sleeping on the floor next to a heater that came on sometime in the night when the generator was at last repaired, and have been sizzling all night. The six other people in the cabin are snoozing away; they were up late drinking and celebrating their Rim to Rim hike, which somehow ended just before the snow hit. They had foresight to send a stranger ahead with a credit card to reserve this cabin and good doing. It was chaos bordering on riot yesterday evening in the main Lodge, with folks having pushed in despite the weather only to find no respite from the cold: 29° outside and no electricity in… continue reading

two small honey-colored bark scorpions in the palm of a hand

A Walk from Hite to Ticaboo

Who even knows where Hite and Ticaboo are? You do? That’s awesome, you’re familiar with the epicenter of Utah’s slickrock coolness! Or maybe you have spent some time on a boat on Powell Lake. Boaters in southeastern Utah would be rudderly (utterly – get it?) familiar with these two tiny outposts. Not familiar? Let me show you. They’re both sorta out of the way places, and pretty much nobody walks between the two places. I thought about hitchhiking past this section, but I heard that Swett Canyon was neato, and was curious about getting a little closer to the southern foot of the Henry Mountains. I did not plan this part of my Colorado Plateau traverse beforehand; it was a… continue reading

Backpacking the Kokopelli Trail – Part 2

Return to Backpacking the Kokopelli Trail – Part 1 Day 5 – Ups and Downs April 13. Trigger warning: Skip the next two paragraphs if you hate annoying conservationist chatter… about cows. Depending on who you ask, our public lands are littered with hundreds of thousands of cattle, or free range beef just “grows on trees.” In Utah there is one cow for every four people, so you’re bound to run into them in the woods. Often ranchers take government subsidies to pay very little money to graze their stock on our public lands, which sometimes even includes National Parks! They become millionaires off our backs, then sell us a product that isn’t necessarily good for us, whether ethically or… continue reading

Old trail sign on the Kokopelli trail with sage prairie in background

Backpacking the Kokopelli Trail – Part 1

In the spring of 2019, I solo backpacked (self-supported) from Loma, Colorado to Moab, Utah on the Kokopelli Trail. Given it was a relatively high snow year and the wet weather forecast, this was sorta dumb. But I was determined to hike “the entire Colorado Plateau” after a geologist friend asked about the Hayduke. He was driving me to Vegas so I could pick up a rental car in 2016, just before the first time I hiked it. He seemed to challenge me when he said: “Why would the Hayduke not cover the entire Plateau?” I am not sure he was exactly throwing down that gauntlet, but that’s how I took it, and even after having hiked the Hayduke twice,… continue reading

Life is a Fairytale

People really die taking selfies like this. But from what I was told, this little 6-day, 140-mile jaunt from Loma, Colorado to Moab, Utah could kill me – no water, then cold and snow and ghoulies, oh my! It was a very uncomfortable hike because of foul weather causing me to shiver the nights through, and time constraints forcing me to walk big miles out the gate, but it was also one of my favorite walks. The Colorado Plateau mystifies me. Wait? What? How? Utah has such incredible hidden wonders (and disasters). This long trail took me right back to my mountain bikey roots and made me wonder – if I got back on the saddle, would I still “have… continue reading

mount morrisson sierra nevada

Dear PCT Class of 2019

I’m getting ready to go on a hike of my own, but I wanted to drop you a note to let you know it’s still snowing in the High Sierra. My 2017 blog post “Dear PCT Class of 2017” with tips about snow travel and whatnot definitely, definitely applies, since we got more snow (* see footnotes) this year than we did overwinter 2016/2017. I spent the winter shoveling, plowing, skiing, and snowshoeing in the Sierra, and I’ll tell you what: nobody who knows anything about avalanches or snow conditions (in brief, they suck) is going back there behind the Crest right now. I hope you read my 2017 letter and do all the other research and preparation you can,… continue reading

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