From Bedrock to Sin City

Eiffel Tower Replica at Paris Las Vegas, October 2011.
Eiffel Tower Replica at Paris Las Vegas, October 2011.

Walking down our 100-yard-long driveway in the cold recently, I thought about times in the past, walking in the cold, my shoes making that tell-tale crunch and grind, my breath streaming, the sky darkening with night.

It reminded me, of course, of hiking, which is one of my favorite things to do in the world. As I walked, I waxed rhapsodic in my head about all our adventures. It’s always best to have Abby by my side, though I sometimes like to venture out alone, or with one of my hiking buddies from around the globe like with David, Michael, or Robert. Abby and my friends and I have tasted many fruits of the open road as the years have raced by, from the blinding glitter of Las Vegas to the lonely shack of a store in Bedrock in the Paradox Valley of western Colorado. It’s all been amazing.

This image of the store at Bedrock, Colorado made in October 2009, shows its rustic character and, if you look closely, Abby's reflection in one of the windows.
This image of the store at Bedrock, Colorado made in October 2009, shows its rustic character and, if you look closely, Abby’s reflection in one of the windows.

Thinking about this got me wanting to plan again, and update my “A-List” of places I want to see and hike. One of these places came to mind again and again, since I have been so close to it many times, and sworn again and again I would go. The place is The Maze District at Canyonlands National Park, one of the most remote and inhospitable places in the lower 48 United States. There’s the rub, really. I want to see and hike The Maze, but I don’t own a vehicle quite as capable as it would require (though Abby’s 4WD Frontier comes close), nor am I willing to venture out there alone.

Still, though, it calls. As recently as October 2010, at the end of the Grand View Point trail at Canyonlands, I could literally see it, but it was completely out of reach. In 2008, at the Confluence Overlook, I was less than a half a mile from it, yet it was across the 1000-foot-deep Colorado River gorge. I am currently trying to humbly ask a couple of my more experienced hiking/canyoneering buddies if they are interested in such a trip, and I am hopeful that it will materialize soon.

I might have 20 items on my “A-List,” but the list resides in my head, and changes almost daily based on what I read, how I feel, and what kind of map is before me. But The Maze has been on it every time, and always near the top of the list.

I made this image of The Maze from the Grand View Point trail at Canyonlands, and have highlighted two of its dominant features. Despite being able to see it, from where I stood it would have taken an entire day to get there.
I made this image of The Maze from the Grand View Point trail at Canyonlands, and have highlighted two of its dominant features. Despite being able to see it, from where I stood it would have taken an entire day to get there.
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