Red Butte Wilderness: Step into Nature

A cloudless blue sky stretches out before us as we roll down the maroon-colored Kolob Reservoir Road on our way to Utah’s Red Butte Wilderness, managed by the BLM St George Field Office. We turn off onto an unmarked dirt road, and Red Butte, known for its sandstone spires and domes, looms larger. 

“Bang.” The shutting of the truck’s doors is the last man-made sound we hear. The silence is deafening, creating an air of tranquility that even the birds try to mimic.

Stretching from a low of 5,600 feet to a high of 7,400 feet, the steep grade begins to take its toll. Short of breath, we struggle to traverse through prickly shrubs and escalade what seems like vertical slickrock (alright, I’m exaggerating a little), but as the expansive views unfold before us, thoughts of scratches made only moments before, dissipate entirely. This 1,500 acre wilderness ranges from a sandy wash, which takes us down a slot canyon and ends in a brilliant sandstone amphitheater, to a forested mesa top perfect for picnicking while basking in the sun. We have arrived. Not at our destination exactly, but we’ve succeeded in leaving the hustle-bustle of daily life behind, and entered one of Earth’s natural treasures. 

-Iris Picat

It’s Right There In Black & White!: Guess I missed that lesson in photography school (like I went to photography school) but still you’d think I could take a decent b&w photo. This shot of Banta Shut-In — a black slickrock canyon on Tornillo Creek in Big Bend NP — is my first b&w to post and the best of the lot if that tells you anything. I don’t like any of them. When it comes to b&w I obviously don’t have a clue. Can anybody give me one?

Had a half day off after working on the farm this morning. I went for this gorgeous hike. Though I didn’t make it to the end of the trail, I did I little bit of bushwhacking (I know I know I shouldn’t tread off-trail but I couldn’t help myself) and found a some beautiful slickrock cliffs and a hidden waterfall.

Annddd to turn my day into a metaphor: sometimes you don’t make it to whatever the predestined end is. But if you go off the beaten path, sometimes you can find things that are even better.