Save our Parks! Interviews from a SLC Impeachment March.

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Utah has only been my official home for a short time, but it has been a place that I’ve loved and felt close to ever since the first time I visited ten years ago. The beauty and the grandeur of the landscapes in the national parks and national monuments fill me with awe each time I have the opportunity to experience them. Never have I visited one of the countless sites in this state without seeing others enjoying them as well. It’s the reason people come here, and it’s the reason people love it here.

I visited the Donald Trump Impeachment March at the Salt Lake City Capitol Building on Sunday, July 2 and spoke to some people about the current issues we are facing regarding the environment and some of our national monuments. The video is below and you can read on for how you can help:

Two of the designated protected lands, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, are currently under review along with dozens of others in the US. The American public has until July 9 to submit any thoughts or comments regarding the designation of these monuments. Please take the time to share your thoughts by going to this website.

This is the full URL: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOI-2017-0002-0001

A lot of times it feels like we can’t do anything to change what’s happening in our country. This is an opportunity to do just that. Sign the petition, call your local representatives, write letters, make videos, talk to your family and friends. Any little thing we can do to help preserve these lands is worth the time and effort. I attempt to share the beauty of these places through photography and videos in the hopes that it will inspire others to see it for themselves or at least allow them to enjoy images of a place they might not have the chance to see in person. I hope everyone can appreciate the seriousness of what is at stake.

Thank you for taking the time.

dm.rt

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The Ear Canal: Make Your Voice Heard!

Ear Canal

Our National Monuments are under attack by a reckless regime in the United States government that sees no value beyond the bottom line. There is still time to make your voices heard. Visit this website before July 9, 2017 to leave a comment letting the government know that these designations are important for us and future generations! Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Bears Ears in Utah are just two of many that are under review!

This is the full URL: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOI-2017-0002-0001

Outside the well-known National Parks of Utah, there are tons of slot canyons that have been carved into the landscape over millennia of wind, sand, and water rushing through them. Peek-a-Boo Canyon and Spooky Gulch in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument are two of my favorite slot canyons and they happen to part of one loop hike. Whichever way you take it has some challenging parts, but overall it’s an easy slot for anyone willing to climb and crawl a little bit.

This view is from above after I climbed up, stemming and using counter-pressure techniques that are a big part of why I love these canyons so much. They are basically a huge playground in nature, and they are some of the most beautiful landforms I have ever seen. It’s addictive climbing through narrow spaces and getting different views. This one makes me think of an ear canal. I will sometimes get myself to a spot and just sit in awe of the natural creation that is these slots. I think this is something everyone should experience in their life.

It’s too easy to dismiss something you don’t understand, so let’s make sure the committees reviewing our most precious natural lands have all the facts straight from the people who appreciate them. We can make a difference by making our voices heard. Please take a moment and leave comment before July 9 and I will see you out in the canyons!

One last time the link is https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOI-2017-0002-0001

dm.rt

The Subway

Subway Falls

Hiking The Subway in Zion National Park has been something I’ve wanted to do ever since I saw the photos on my first visit. It always seemed impossible to plan with my spontaneous visits to the park. My previous attempts at getting a permit the day I visited had been unsuccessful, but this time Becca and I got the last two permits for the next day! I was overly excited to finally see this place with my own eyes and get a chance to photograph it myself.

Shooting something that is a magnet for photographers in a place this beautiful is a hard thing to do because so many amazing photographers have been there and spent the time to get incredible shots. Finding something approaching unique is almost not possible when you’re just using the landscape. I took a few snapshots of the classic Subway shot just to get a feel for how it was done and the way the light plays off the curved canyon walls. As I waded in the water and waited for hikers to get out of the way I found this little pool where the water cascaded over the edge beautifully, and I felt like I’d found my shot.

I wanted to incorporate the tunnel-like walls from which The Subway gets its name, but I also wanted to include the water we hiked through for three miles. It’s hard to capture the feeling of awe one experiences standing in a place like this, reflecting on the power of water and nature to create such breathtaking features, but I hope this image gives you some idea. If nothing else, I hope it compels people to get out and do this hike and see it for themselves! At the very least I hope it does for you what similar images have done for me: inspire my wanderlust and desire to be out in nature to go find the beauty that surrounds us all no matter where we are!

I’ll have a video up very soon with more from this beautiful hike!

dm.rt

Calling Salt Lake City Home

Tent

After two months on the road, 18 states, and countless nights slept in this tent (I could go back and count, but I’m not going to) Becca and I have finally landed in Salt Lake City, Utah with an apartment, a queen-size mattress or two, and a questionable heating/cooling system. Still, this is our new home for at least the 6-month lease period and week one has been great!

Although I’ve been here a lot in the past I’ve never lived here, and that makes all the difference. We even spent a week or two bumming around town before we moved in. I mean that in the most sincere sense– we spent our days in Starbucks, didn’t shower much, and ate most of our food out of a cooler with no ice in it. We camped at a great little spot on Utah Lake most nights. It wasn’t bad as temporary homes go, but we were ready for something more solid. So here we are!

This first week has been full of finding out what’s around us and what the city has to offer. So far we have not been disappointed. The vegan options around here are plentiful and amazing: Buds is the standout favorite for delicious sandwiches like the Buffalo or a cheesesteak while City Cakes Vegan Bakery has some dangerously delicious cookie dough and cheesecake. Honorable mentions are Frisch Compassionate Eatery, Vertical Diner, Vertical Pizza, and the vegan pull-apart cheesy bread from The Pie.

I should also mention Proper Brewing Company, where I already almost feel like a regular. They have daily specials on their delicious beer, trivia on Tuesdays, and a couple of fantastic vegan burgers to boot! My favorite thing has been finding places like Proper which I hadn’t heard of before moving here that turned out to be amazing hangouts with nice people. I can’t wait to find out what else is hiding right under my nose here.

SLC is great for its wide streets and bike lanes, and our apartment in The Avenues is close biking distance to basically everything we need as long as we don’t mind biking back up the large hill to our place on the way home. Speaking of proximity, we are close to so many National Parks that I just don’t know what to do or where to go first. The thought of being less than a day’s drive to all of these places fills me with excitement and the urge to plan trips for every bit of free time I have! Some would be a long day drive, (Olympic NP might take me two days of serious driving) but the sheer amount of options is enough to keep me busy for quite a long time to come. I can’t wait to see new places and old favorites and share it all!

SLC Distances Map

Take me to all of these places! The 6 National Parks/National Monuments I listed in Utah don’t even scratch the surface of what this state has to offer. State Parks, BLM land, canyons, rivers, waterfalls, mountains, and forests are everywhere and packed with incredible trails and views. I’ve got a lot of work to do having fun here.

dm.rt

Peek-a-Boo

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Peek-a-Boo and Spooky slot canyons were some of the first slot canyons I ever visited. They remain my favorites of all that I’ve been to so far. The sinuous trails created by endless floods of water lead the imagination down a similarly winding journey; the amount of time it took to create these amazing formations, the power of nature and water, and our place in the world. It’s hard to comprehend what it took to create such beauty and the fact that we are able to experience it in such close proximity is a testament to the work of the National Parks Service over the past century.

Not to go down the even more dark and winding path of politics, but this is exactly the kind of thing we need to protect. We are not here merely for ourselves and to use this land for selfish and short-sighted purposes but to preserve the wonders of nature like this for future generations so they know why this planet is worth fighting for!

UTAH!

IMG_4401We made our way down to Capitol Reef, Neon Canyon/Golden Cathedral, Peek-a-Boo/Spooky Canyons, and Bryce this week. We experienced quite a bit including a rattlesnake in a slot canyon, hammocking overnight for the first time, and driving on way more washboard roads than I care to remember. This video is a little recap of our week here. I will be posting daily photos from the recent outings as well as working on more specific videos. Stay tuned and enjoy!

50 Days on the Road!

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We have been traveling across the US for 50 days! We’ve been biking, hiking, skiing, drinking, eating… I’ll just let you see for yourself!

This is just a quick teaser of what’s to come! There will be weekly updates of full-length videos detailing some of the most amazing places we’ve been and the places we go. There are a few new things I’ll be trying out that I’m really excited for. Subscribe or keep checking back for more!

dm.rt