Grand Canyon is home to a diversity of reptiles. Lizards are common on the rim, but snakes seem to be more rare. However today, a large gopher snake slithered by while giving my geology talk. My herpetology friends will recognize this snake as Pituophis catenifer, a non venomous snake that subdues it’s prey through constriction. Even though it is non venomous it’s still best to leave these snakes be. We can do more harm to them than they to us, and inside the National Parks animals should always remain undisturbed. But you can still pause to appreciate the animals, from a distance, before they disappear back into the wilds of the canyon.
1 of 2: Constantly contemplating my most recent adventure and it’s meaning has me thinking on some other formative/transformative trips I’ve taken. Two of those are pictured here, both of which were with my favorite hiking companion ever, my first and best friend in California, Martin Garcia, who, because he is so awesome, does not have an IG account to be tagged. The first was to Havasu Canyon, the worst kept, best kept secret in America. An impossible utopia, nestled in a remote, western tributary of The Grand Canyon, completely within Havasupai Tribal Lands, filled to the rim with idyllic crystal blue waterfalls and pools, and unbelievably nice people living in some of the most singular circumstances on Earth. This trip became an annual tradition of sorts, and I’m not sure which year these pictures are from, but I know that pic 1 was taken after a 16 mile day hike to the bottom of the canyon, and to the bottom of The Grand Canyon proper, which, by a matter of geographical coincidence, are the same location. The second trip was to Utah, one of about a dozen I’ve taken. I had recently purchased a brand new Subaru Forester, and Martin and I quickly set out to put thousands of miles on dirt roads and 4x4 trails under its wheels. Through California and it’s mountain ranges, the low, lonely valleys of Nevada and the endless pine forests and thousand mile vistas of Arizona. We once went so deep into the wilderness of Death Valley that a backcountry ranger lightly “interrogated” us, as he was clearly convinced that we were bandits on the lam. Then we set out for Utah, with specific plans to find our way into the most deserted locations we could.
• if it scares you, it might be a good thing to try •
after traveling Latin America non-stop for four months straight, coming home was the best feeling in the world. we had planned to travel for the whole year though, so when we left after a couple short weeks for the SECOND time this year, I couldn't not be sad.
we are in week four of our cross-country van trip, and month six of our year-long sabbatical. we just got out of the hot desert and now we're in the cold nountains and the only thing I want right now is to go back home.
I have been saving my money for this trip for YEARS and have been dreaming about it for even longer... but now I've traveled so much it just doesn't seem special anymore to see new places. anybody else ever feel like this?
We were in too much of a rush to scout a nearby overlook I’ve had my eyes on (hopefully I get a second chance before the impending OHV doom), but it was delightful to drive through the blue hills nonetheless.
With EGGS 330 2019 in the books, the looming question is: Where will 2020 EGGS 330 take place? One likely candidate is Utah's Colorado Plateau. There are 1.5 million acres of newly protected wilderness in the San Rafael Swell (pik 3). This region contains a lifetime's worth of geology, natural history, cultural artifacts, and amazing scenery. As we speak, @geo_brett is scouting out sites for camping and exploring. So much to see, so much to learn!
(All piks from this post are from 2018 EGGS 330)