Camping in the Southwest U.S.A.

Southern Utah and Northern Arizona are really cool places to be. That said, here are some pictures to illustrate the point.

A section of road.
Things are big and spread out. I love the way you can SEE down here. I think this was in or near Monument Valley.
The muddy San Juan river.
The San Juan is a great river trip. There are rapids but they are not so big as to be scary if you have some river experience. (Or follow someone who does, like I did)
The best things in life are dirty...
God, I love this river! (The dirty San Juan (in flood).)
It's a lot quicker going down than it was hiking up!
If it ever gets really bad, there is an easy way out. (But you gotta get there.)
Flash flood coming out of the mouth of John's Canyon.     Another view.
OK, so we had a little rain on this trip. It was all worth it for this view. We could hear this from a long way upstream. Big rapids? Jet plane?
My boat and Suzie along the red San Juan.
This isn't really a whitewater river boat but for medium stuff it gets me thru. The water was four distinctly different colors thru this trip.
Cliff dwelling along the San Juan.
Here is an awesome cliff dwelling along the old San Juan. (Check out the Pictograph/Petroglyph in the upper left corner.)
Hiking in the Escalante River.
The Escalante river canyons are some of the best. I've been in it on foot and in a kayak and I recommend feet.
Stevens Arch on the Escalante.
You can hike up and get in this really big arch and look out across lots of great canyons including the famous Coyote Gulch nearby.
Coyote Gulch scene
Typical big wall with desert varnish.
Jacob Hamblin Arch
This is Jacob Hamblin Arch in Coyote Gulch. Just upstream from here is an undercut wall that's hard to believe. Cool place.
Paria Canyon
Paria is about a 40 mile hike that starts out flat and open and ends up big and deep and wide. In the middle there is a long stretch that looks like this. Just past where this shot was taken, Buckskin Dive or just "The Dive" comes in on the right and it is just plain scary cool. The person in the picture is my good friend and old time desert hiking buddy, Charlie Potter.
Really big rappel deep in Utah's canyons.
Here's Matt B going over the edge of a truly "mind bending", 130 foot, mostly free-air rappel into paradise. Something to do...
"You, music lover. You're next!."
Here's looking down at Matt past my right leg. About a tenth of the way down.

Speaking of good old Cactus Ed, (Was I?) here is some stuff I've put together about my favorite author, Edward Abbey.

And along those same lines, if you liked The Monkey Wrench Gang but thought there was still some unfinished business, then you GOTTA read Steve Hannon's masterpiece, Glen Canyon!

And speaking of Glen Canyon, THERE IS HOPE!
Please join the Glen Canyon Institute.
We can bring it back!!!

At the end of a long, hard but GREAT trip in the Escalante River Canyons, (we kayaked the river from the highway crossing to the reservoir) we met an old time canyonlands desert rat named Kent Frost. What a great person. He still lives in Monticello, UT and has a wonderful little book he wrote all about growing up in Southern Utah and discovering and naming many of the arches, petroglyphs, etc down there. His book is called My Canyonlands and is a fun reading. I later wrote this poem about that time called Desert Stories II.

Here is another short poem about the Canyon Thoughts that come to you down there.

Ok, here's my collection of "Desert Food".
This is regular food that has been in your pack for too long in the desert....
Go figure.... 8^)

Probably the best and most effective organization working to save these special places from sure and steady destruction is the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. (SUWA). Check out their site and please do what you can to save what's left of the west.

Comments or suggestions?
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