Friday, February 21, 2014

Some of My Favorite Edward Abbey quotes

“Do not burn yourselves out.  Be as I am -- a reluctant enthusiast . . . a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic.   Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure.  It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it's still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space.  Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much: I promise you this one sweet victory over those desk-bound men with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators.  I promise you this: you will outlive the bastards.”

“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you -- beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.” 

"The love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyong reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth, the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only paradise we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need, if only we had the eyes to see.” 

"A man on foot, on horseback or on a bicycle will see more, feel more, enjoy more in one mile than the motorized tourists can in a hundred miles.” 


“The best thing about graduating from the university was that I finally had time to sit on a log and read a good book.” 

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For activities to pursue to escape from cities, and for places to escape into,  go to my other website, Bike, Hike, and Paddle, for hundreds of locations and thousands of photos.


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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

National Parks I've Visited

After re-watching Ken Burns' marvelous PBS series, "The National Parks: America's Best Idea," I began counting up the parks I've visited.  The National Park Service administers over 400 properties, but only 59 have full national park status (as opposed to being a national seashore or lakeshore or scenic river or monument or battlefield or historic site, etc.)  I can't determine all my visits, but I have located verification for over 140 visits to 51 of our 59 national parks by referring to my photos and journals, and below are links to the parks with photos and info for each. (I am also including links to information I've compiled about the 8 parks I haven't yet visited.) Our national parks encompass 84 million acres of land, 4.5 million acres of water, 43,000 miles of shoreline, and 12,000 miles of trails.


Acadia National Park, Maine  (2005, 2009)

Arches National Park, Utah    (1990, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2010)

Badlands National Park, South Dakota  (1959, 1982, 1997, 1998, 2004, 2007, 2011, 2014)

Big Bend National Park, Texas   (2007)

Biscayne National Park, Florida   (2008, 2012)

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado   (1959, 1989, 1991, 2007, 2014)

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah   (1985, 1999, 2008, 2012)

Canyonlands National Park, Utah  (1990, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012)

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah  (1985, 1989, 2012)

Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico  (1985)

Channel Islands National Park, California  (2011)

Congaree National Park, South Carolina   (2011)

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon   (2011)


Death Valley National Park, California  (2012)

Denali National Park & Preserve, Alaska  (2004 - 3 separate visits)

Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida  (2012)

Everglades National Park, Florida  (2003, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015)


Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska  (2004)

Glacier National Park, Montana  (1997)

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona  (1981, 1985, 1989, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2010)

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming  (1982, 1987, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2014)

Great Basin National Park, Nevada  (2012)

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado  (1990, 1991, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2007)

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee & North Carolina  (1965, 1967, 1971,1995, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2008)

Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas  (1985, 2007)

Haleakala National Park, Hawai'i'  (2003)


Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas  (1968, 1985, 2006)

Isle Royale National Park, Michigan  (1993, 1995)

Joshua Tree National Park, California  (2011)


Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska  (2004)

Kings Canyon National Park, California  (2011)



Lassen Volcanic National Park, California  (2011)

Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky  (1962, 2001)

Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado  (1985, 1994, 1999)

Mount Rainier National Park, Washington  (2000, 2004)


North Cascades National Park, Washington  (2011)

Olympic National Park, Washington  (2000)

Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona  (1989, 1999)


Redwood National Park, California  (1993)

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado  (1982, 1990, 2014)

Saguaro National Park, Arizona  (2012)

Sequoia National Park, California  (2011)

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia  (2012)

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota  (2012)


Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota  (2013)

Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota  (1998)

Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska   (2004 — 2 separate visits)

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana, & Idaho  (1982, 1987, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2014)

Yosemite National Park, California  (1993, 2011)

Zion National Park, Utah  (1985, 1999, 2008, 2010)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Utah's Heber Creeper Railroad

The Heber Creeper scenic railroad began in 1899 as the Utah Eastern Railroad, running from Heber City to Provo.  A year later it was acquired by the Rio Grande Western and then in 1920 became part of the Denver and Rio Grande Western. Freight and livestock were important parts of its business, but passenger service was also provided.  During the 1930s, more sheep left Heber City than any other depot in the USA.  In the early 1970s, it became the Heber Creeper tourist passenger train.  The name is thought to have been derived by the trail's slow transit through the narrow twisting canyon.

Below is the 1907 Baldwin steam Engine 618 which is now being renovated.  I took this photo when we rode this train back in 1990.





From the original depot, the train ride passes Deer Creek Reservoir and traverses lush meadows, alpine forests of the Wasatch Mountains, and waterfalls along its route, winding its way down gorges to Provo canyon and Vivan park.












The Heber Valley Railroad offers several scenic excursions, adventure trains, dinner trains, and special event trains. Scenic Trains include the breathtaking scenery of Heber Valley’s natural landscape, the beautiful Deer Creek Reservoir, and the majestic Provo Canyon/Provo River.