Keeping it local in BLM land

I’m not sure how to go about posting future trip reports if any. At least for the time being.

We are legally allowed to camp out in the vast tracts of public land within two hours of our home (twice the size of my home state!), and we tend to go off the beaten path already.

But is it responsible for posting photos and discussing outdoor places when other people have to shelter in place? And while I am publically saying it is irresponsible to travel for outdoor pursuits?

I don’t know the answer.

I do know that even as recently as a week ago, going out to recreate locally did not have any ethical concerns for me.  Now? Not so sure. We’ve decided to throttle down our trips to slightly less remote places with fewer technical challenges. If one of us became hurt, we’d be tying up resources best used elsewhere.

I do know that Joan and I fortunate that we have a lot of opportunities most don’t have in their backyard. Less than one mile for our home is a mesa where we can, and have, spent several hours hiking.

For now, here are some photos from last week.

The first trailhead is less than a twenty-minute drive from home. And it leads to an arch well-known to locals with a commanding view of the La Sal mountains.

A quiet walk in the desert proved to be what we needed. And though only a week ago, it seems so much has changed already.

We did take a local backpack in the BLM area near our home.

Our research? Maps, a thirty-five-year-old guidebook from the local library, and an archeological report partially redacted. With clues from the academic paper, looking over the guide, and putting the pieces together with maps, we’d put together a route that took in many Fremont arc sites.

And the campsite took in a memorable spring sunset.

The following morning we explored the other side of the canyon and found different sites mentioned in the report.

Corn grinding area.

We went down a side canyon and popped above the canyon rim.

We took one last look over the rim, headed back to our car, and put on the radio.

Even in a twenty-four or so period, a lot changed. And less than a week later? Even more so.

I don’t know what’s going to happen even a week from now. But I do take comfort at seeing these 800+ yr old images. The current times are just a blip in humanity’s history.

Is your South East Utah vacation on hold? Enjoy this excellent site for looking at some of the more well-known petroglyph and pictograph panels.

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Deb Carnine
Deb Carnine
4 years ago

Check your email to confirm your subscription.

You are a guru to many, including me. The example you set has the power to influence those yahoos who don’t have the same good judgment. It is hard enough to get people to abide by outdoor ethics during the good times.

These are extraordinary times.

4 years ago

These are great photos.

I, for one, support you continuing to get out locally and post trip reports, as these allows those who don’t live nearby to experience your area vicariously. It’s not feasible or responsible for people to travel to Moab to experience these sites; for residents, however, there would not appear to be an increased burden or risk in going out in your immediate surroundings (and sharing these).

Buddy Sessoms
Buddy Sessoms
4 years ago

That corn grinding area is really cool.

4 years ago

You are very considerate of the thoughts and opinions of others. You practice LNT in the Backcountry. You seek the road less traveled. If there is no local ordinance or closure in place, you are (in my opinion) creating no harm. Maybe I’m a selfish reader, having these posts is a welcome respite from the strange new reality unfolding around us. Thanks for providing a much needed vicarious get away for those of us stuck at home.