Weekend adventures in the high desert
I have known for a long time that I had the perfect job. What other job allows me the opportunities to travel around the areas that I am living in interviewing people and exploring the sites and sounds. Since I was a kid I have loved adventures, traveling through the hills or deserts, climbing mountains, fishing on the ocean, exploring the rivers and streams, visiting gardens, museums, bird refuges and resorts.
My newspaper career has taken me to five states in the past 27 years and at each location I have spent extensive time traveling through as many places as I possibly could just getting to know the country, visiting with the people and understanding the culture. Starting in Montana and working my way through Oregon, Washington, Arizona, and now Utah, I have gained an incredible appreciation for the outdoors, geology, geography and history.
At my last location, in Bullhead City, Ariz. one of my responsibilities was managing a travel magazine and I spent every weekend exploring the areas from Hoover Dam to Flagstaff. I rode through the Grand Canyon on horseback, fished the Colorado River, kayaked the streams, and explored several Mojave Desert caves. It was an exciting time and somehow, water skiing and swimming the rivers and lakes helped when the temperatures topped 125 in the summer months.
But in November when I accepted the transfer to Utah and to Carbon and Emery Counties, I was excited because I had seen pictures of Utah and knew that once again I was in a recreation wonderland. But I had no idea it was anything as wonderful as it is. The past few weeks as the temperatures climbed and spring appeared I started my typical exploration process and the more I see and do, the more I want to see and do.
It is amazing the places to go, things to do, and the people to meet. Periodically I will capture these experiences on film or with a pen and include you with me as I explore Eastern Utah. Two weekends this past month I traveled extensively through the San Rafael Swell visiting the Wedge and areas near the west end of the Swell. I also made it down to Arches near Moab last weekend and the same weekend traveled the Scenic Bi-Way through Huntington Canyon over to Scofield.
I had spent a Sunday horseback riding just east of Green River a few weeks ago and this time we traveled through Huntington and went down the west side of Cedar Mountain, looking over the Wedge and driving down through the river bottom of the San Rafael River. Although it is extremely dry in this area it was an incredible day. We drove well over 350 miles in three days and saw country I had only seen in pictures and books.
The spectacular cliffs and canyons, every imaginable shade of red, brown, black, green and white were sparkling in the bright sunlight. I was a like a little kid who was seeing the Grand Canyon or the Rocky Mountains for the first time and we stopped every five minutes to take pictures from a different angle.
One of the amazing parts of the trips was the incredible number of pictographs and petroglyphs in the region. It seems as though everywhere we traveled there were more and more, all reminders of our past. Traveling into the Swell is really an experience of a lifetime and in a single day I experienced views of some of Utah's most spectacular scenery and some of the world's most exciting rock art.
It is amazing how geology, geography, and history can all come together and I am grateful I have the opportunities to again explore a newcountry.