May 29, 2016

Grand Gulch...finally

Our friends would ask us: "where you going this time?" I was embarrassed to say that were going to Grand Gulch for the first time ever. Can't believe we've both been in Utah for 15 years and had never been.

April 28, 2016

solo on the John Day River

I have a friend that's 70 years old. He's been a boater all his life and has untold experience, but has never done a solo trip. Recently he asked me; "what possessed you to go on the river for 9 days by yourself?"

January 17, 2016

Rum Therapy

Lisa and I seem to have been posted up on Jost Van Dyke for the past week. Rented a little 10'x10' plywood shack on the beach in White Bay. For 60/nt. the place comes with mosquitos, a festive blue and yellow paint job, the sound of the surf, and one kitty.

The view every night

December 22, 2015

Winter Solstice at May Creek Cabin

Somehow we lucked out again! What better way to break up a drive from SLC to the Northwest than to hike into a backcountry cabin and spend the night.

November 5, 2015

catboat 1041

In 2010 I think I completed 5 solo patrol trips down Deso. I remember thinking, after launching on the last one, that I'd had enough of solo trips for a while. Little did I know it'd be the last one for 5 years.

catboat 1041

August 20, 2015

The Timberline Trail

This spring I applied for the lottery to hike the Wonderland Trail that circumnavigates the base of Mount Rainer. A couple months later the Park Service generously sent me a letter that my application had been denied, but thanked me for paying the fee. As an alternative Lisa and I set our sights on the Timberline Trail around Mt Hood.

May 20, 2015

a YouTube kind of Desolation

The State Office decided we needed some representation on YouTube. Thanks to Kelly and Chad at the BLM state office for being so generous with their editing. You guys should be in Hollywood!

March 31, 2015

No Man's Canyon

The Robbers Roost country! I have taken the liberty to refer to it as everything draining into the Dirty Devil River from the east. It's a wild piece of country that always delivers a great adventure and usually the kind of beating that makes beer taste damn good.

March 16, 2015

Thwarted by The Maze

A 75 degree forecast for redrock country in March is enough to make a Salt Lake City local roll out.

January 17, 2015

Married in Mexico

Lisa and Mick
Jan 17th, 2015
 Barcelo Maya Palace
Playa del Carmen, Mexico

over 100 photos follow...

October 29, 2014

A Deso Ranger Life

a deso rangers life is as jolly as can be
like George Bradley ‘s fellows – happy go lucky

jolly as can be just like the rat
only more like huck finn up on his raft

we punch no time clock
nor tie our boats to a dock

September 3, 2014

Wilderness in the Water

This summer, as the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act approached, I was reminded of a trip I did a couple years ago when an interesting aspect of wilderness first occurred to me.

August 25, 2014

Yellowstone - Shoshone Lake

We made a plan this summer to meet Lisa's parents at Yellowstone for some car camping and thought it'd be a swell time for a hike and a hitch back to the car. After a rainy, two night hike into Shoshone Lake we met them at Old Faithful Village then rode to DeLacy Creek Trailhead where we left the car. When the four of us got to Grant Village we set up a rainy campsite for a couple nights of cold camping. The next day topped out at 45 degrees which was a bit cool compared the 95 degree Utah we left behind.

August 13, 2014

High Uintas - E. Fork Blacks Fork

While Lisa and I were crossing the Highline Trail our favorite part was what we patched together between the East Fork Blacks Fork and Red Castle. To put it all together was a memorable trip of fantastic scenery....and a reckoning of sorts with the lightning that scared me senseless in Oweep in summer 2013.
....will write about that, and more, later this winter when I have some time. 

these boots are made for walkin'

July 30, 2014

Backpackin' w/Cody the Kid

Last summer Lisa and I were chatting as we walked along the crest of the High Uintas Wilderness when she suggested we take Cody on a backpacking trip.

July 22, 2014

Lower Salmon 2.0

Another trip with Cody the Kid. Just as beautiful, and a good way to hang out with the kid and talk about the future plans when he graduates in a couple years. Summer time in the west wouldn't be summer without the smoke of wildfires.

Along side Idaho Hwy 55

June 1, 2014

Mt. Moriah Wilderness

Have you ever noticed that epic trip ideas are sometimes born on epic trips? In August 2010 Lisa and I sat on top of Wheeler Peak, in Nevada, at 13,000' looking across Hwy 50 at the obscurity of Mt. Moriah Wilderness when the idea to "check it out" was born.

Mt. Moriah from FS road #469

December 30, 2013

Winter Solstice in the Snowy Woods

A warm little cabin deep in the snowy woods on the winter solstice.... almost sounds too good to be true, but it certainly is, and here is the story.

August 24, 2013

High Uintas Wilderness: The Highline Trail

Oweep Basin 

The Highline Trail has been on our list of things to do for a long time. Recently we completed a 70 mile traverse of the High Uintas Wilderness from Chepeta lake to Mirror Lake Trailhead. 

August 7, 2013

Cap’n Shed Diggs aka Gunny Navy

On a recent 9-day hitch at Sandwash Ranger Station I met an interesting guy.  It didn’t really occur to me to write about the encounter until I told the story to some co-workers who suggested I do so.

July 29, 2013

Jarbidge Wilderness

Lisa and I had a mid-summer chunk of time off which was prime for a high country backpacking trip.

beaten silly by the East Fork of the Jarbidge

July 18, 2013

Lower Salmon River

Since the boss lady quit letting me take Cody down Deso it's been all I've needed to get around and see more river sections. This year we did the Lower Salmon. 

June 30, 2013

Lower Deschutes River

Finally made it to boat the Deschutes from Shears Falls to the mouth. It was good to be on a Northwest river, back in my home stompin' grounds. I always love to get back to the columnar basalt and the deep canyons of central Oregon.

Columnar Basalt: A NW original

June 25, 2013

Oregon backroads

On a recent trip to the NW we decided to take the scenic route, so we took five days, winding through the Oregon backroads.

An Old Oregon Pine

May 20, 2013

Upper Desolation Canyon...solo

It's been three years since my last solo trip so I was jones'n in a big way by the time I got to the put-in.

Sat on my ass to read a book all day

April 18, 2013

March 13, 2013

Happy Canyon Overlook

Poison Spring Cyn; background / Happy Cyn; foreground 

Our trip into Sams Mesa Box Canyon settled the question of a possible future backpacking trip. The next morning I sat in the sun looking at maps and drinking coffee. We didn't want to spend a bunch of time driving around so we settled on driving about 20 minutes further out onto Sams Mesa. The contour lines on the quad begged exploration along the north rim of Happy Canyon out to a point that forms between Happy Canyon and the Dirty Devil River. Long story short: We walked 11 miles for a picnic!

March 12, 2013

Sams Mesa Box Canyon

For a good while now I've been eyeing the map with the hopes of making a non-technical 5 day backpacking loop trip, out of two canyons that are popular among canyoneers for technical challenge. We lucked out by having a spell of days in the upper 60's during spring break so we gassed up and rolled south where we had 4 days of sunny solitude.

February 9, 2013

The Jug

Recently, I received another comment, from my sister, about the jug that has has a way of appearing in our photos. I wrote her a response about the jug as it appears in this photo. After I sent it I thought I would put it up as part of the story.

The Jug as it's become affectionately known

February 4, 2013

On getting engaged

Here is a photo essay of the two and a half years leading up to Lisa and I getting engaged.

December 30, 2012

A Scottish Christmas

Sarah has been in Scotland for the better part of two years now attending graduate school at the University of Glasgow. As if we needed an excuse to go to Scotland

November 13, 2012

North Shore of Oahu

Lisa and I got an invite to a wedding in Hawaii. As if there couldn't be a better excuse to go to Hawaii........

October 30, 2012

The Kyoto Protocol

Recently on a shift change night at Sandwash Ranger Station my peers and I were talking shop around a fire. As river rangers