Eight miles away – Backpacking near home

The American Hiking Society currently suggests hikes and camping no more than fifty miles away.

I used to say that we are lucky to have so much public land still accessible to us where we live.

But Joan reminds me: We made choices to have this lifestyle.  I gave up a good-paying (if stress-inducing) career in IT; Joan traded in her scientist lab for introducing the natural world to children in her job as a park ranger. 

Yet, we feel wealthy.

Our bills always get paid, we eat well, our needs minimal, and we live in arguably one of the most beautiful places in North America.

And despite the park closures, there are still many places to hike and spend time in the natural world.  Not just something that’s nice for us, but something we need in our lives.


View this post on Instagram


A #keepitlocal hike out our door to a local mesa. …. #hiking #utah #moab #moabutah

A post shared by Paul Mags (@pmagsco) on

And every weekend ends up as a gift. Another weekend where we can explore the vast public lands around us. We take it conservatively and keep it local, but we realize again how fortunate we are to call this place home.  Or, to paraphrase Walt Whitman – “Henceforth we ask not good-fortune, we make our good-fortune…”


Our trip this weekend, saw us travel three-miles up the road and no further than 8 miles from where I am typing this caption.  It is a place we’ve driven by many times, and where I made my way to Moab over two years ago on a longer journey.

And within this area so close to home? We hiked a seldom explored canyon and saw rock images on a prominent boulder between two canyons.

And had a five-star campsite by any standards.

I debated writing reports or posting photos on social media. But I received many comments, both here and other channels, encouraging me to continue posting. To share a bit of of the natural world that’s still accessible.

Thank you for all the kind words.

And as long as we can legally and ethically venture outdoors, we’ll explore the canyons and mountains near our home.

We’ll see what lies in the weeks ahead.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jake Z
Jake Z
4 years ago

Thanks PMAGS. I agree with the sentiment of those you mentioned. I live in FL and am under self quarantine so these glimpses of the outdoors are much needed.

Stay safe.

Jeremy Werlin
Jeremy Werlin
4 years ago

I can feel the life of spring radiating from the plants in those pics. And I relate to your kind of wealth as it is mine as well. Cheers to the billionaires of the fulfilled spirit.