PEEC and Los Alamos Mountaineers are hosting a live stream event Jan. 25 featuring the adventures of Bill Priedhorsky in Canyon Country over the years including this hike above the Comb Ridge cliff near Bluff. The 120 mile-long ridge runs from the Navajo Reservation north into Utah. Photo courtesy Bill Priedhorsky. Photo Courtesy Bill Priedhorsky
BY BILL PRIEDHORSKY
Los Alamos Mountaineers
In the words of Edward Abbey, “The canyon country of southern Utah and northern Arizona – the Colorado Plateau-is something special. Something strange, marvelous, full of wonders. As far as I know there is no other region on earth much like it, or even remotely like it. Nowhere else have we had this lucky combination of vast sedimentary rock formations exposed to a desert climate, a great plateau carved by major … into such a surreal land of form and color.”
Bill will share highlights of decades in the Canyon Country, focusing on the last few years of new adventures. His canyon adventures started with rough backpack trips, but have been replaced by more comfortable outings where beasts of burden carry the load into camp. Recent trips ranged across the Canyon country. A llama trip to Fool’s Canyon took us to a remote corner of the Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument, with the gift of water – rainstorms that turned cliffs into waterfalls and flats into lakes. Two years later was an October of drought, but enough water persisted in nooks and crannies to support a trip to Ladder Canyon, where a historic stairway to the Escalante River allowed for a swim most days.
November and December are too dark and cold to camp, but not to explore. Every mid-November, the Mountaineers establish a base in Moab town and spend the days exploring. Moab has become crazy busy, but November is a bit quieter. Despite its fame for jeeps and mountain biking, Moab is just as worthy for hiking adventure, and the Mountaineers discover new destinations every trip. Another base for exploration is Bluff, Utah, just 5 ½ hours from Los Alamos, but next door to one “wow” after another on Comb Ridge, Cedar Mesa, and White Canyon.
With a little luck, Bill hopes to be adventuring in the canyons for years to come.
While the Mountaineers look forward to a return to in person meetings, the Jan. 25 event will be held virtually. Registration is at https://peecnature.org/events/details/?id=37768.