Tag Archives: #cedarmesa

10 Pounds in a 1 Pound Sack


For more than 30 years Sweetie’s cousins fly from Pennsylvania to Idaho, to fish and hunt. Since I met them I’ve waxed poetic of red rocks, ponderosa and piñon pines, petroglyphs, and pictographs, the spirit and ancientness of southern Utah, and northern Arizona. Almost my FAVORITE place on earth …. so far.  We’ve encouraged, begged, wheedled, teased, and guilted them to come and experience another part of the west … and this year, in fact in 4 weeks, a couple of them are taking us up on our invitation to come face to face with God’s watercolor box.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnticipation! Planning for an extended road trip is always exciting, don’t you think? Sweetie warns me that I always try to put 10 pounds in a 1 pound sack when I’m planning … I admit, I generally do. Though I am getting better … well, at least I’m trying.

This is exactly a road trip … to taste, to feel spirit and solitude, to breathe ancientness so that it plants seeds so deep they will have to come again and again.

We’re packing the Micro Minnie Winnie campbox  that we acquired last fall … it’ll be it’s long distance break in trip. Which reminds me we have to give it a name, maybe on this trip it’ll let us know what it is.  The cousins are renting a Cruise America RV (little) and we’re hitting the highway for this 10 day road trip.


Camp-Box Supreme Everything we need … nothing more, nothing less

In a nutshell: Boise to Salt Lake City where we’ll meet up with the cousins, then down to Moab (Arches & Canyonland National Parks), then Bluff  (Cedar Mesa and Hovenweep National Monument). We’ll drive through Monument Valley (yeah John Wayne and John Ford!) on our way to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. After the enormous expanse of that canyon we’ll head north and walk, hike, climb and work ourselves down through Wire Pass (a coooool small, slot canyon which connects to the longer Buckskin Gulch canyon). We’ll work our way west through Kanab (stopping always at Houston’s Trail’s End for chicken fried steak) then on toward Zion National Park.  To complete the circle we’ll wend our way through small towns Utah to I-15 and head north for an evening and a morning in SLC before sliding home to Boise.

It makes me breathless just thinking about it …  10 pounds in a 1 pound sack? What do you think?


*Links are for your convenience if you want to know more about the places I’m wandering to. I receive no compensation for any links I put in my posts.

Lizard Killer


Lizard Killer.  Yes, I’m a Lizard Killer.  Thanks Jill for your comments last week … they got me thinking that wandering is more than where I am and what I am doing now.  It’s the anticipation of doing, it’s the doing, and later, re-experiencing the doing when a sensation, smell, or word opens that door in your brain and you are again “there”.

Jill, I hadn’t thought of our whole Cedar Mesa trip for years. But with those two words, Lizard Killer, it all came back to me. Forgetting my hiking shoes until we were 150 miles from home and the small towns we passed had no shoe stores and I spent days hiking in your too short for my feet Tevas, since my slip on Birkenstock weren’t built for red rock.  I was again climbing from the bottom of that narrow, what we thought was a box canyon, saying, wouldn’t it be cool if there were ruins up there? Then clambering over fallen rocks to discover Anasazi ruins hidden behind a collapsed overhang.  I held my breath side stepping the narrow trail worn almost perpendicular to the wall which led to the tiny storage room stuck like a mud dauber’s nest to the wall of the cliff; inside mini corn cobs still littered the floor .

It was long enough past that I don’t have digital photographs.

<p>Panoramic evening view from the southern edge of Cedar Mesa, overlooking the <a Jack Brauer www.mountainphotography.com

Panoramic evening view from the southern edge of Cedar Mesa by Jack Brauer http://www.mountainphotography.com

OK, get on with it … did you really kill a lizard? You want to know ‘what happened’, so here it is: the creepy “coincidence” that gave me the moniker, Lizard Killer.

Jill and I had been hiking most of the morning and stopped 20 feet or so apart on the red rocks to talk  … during the conversation a small lizard zipped into a crack just to the front and side of my toes.

He would pop his head out, then back in, testing the air; in and out, in and out, prepping for his sprint to ultimate safety I’d guess.  I watched him for a few minutes, mentioned it to Jill, and then forgot him.  I pointed out a spot of shade with a spectacular view as a perfect spot for lunch. Just at the moment I stepped forward, the little lizard leaped from his hiding place; and I squished him.

His race to speed away and my step to shade collided and in that instant, he was flat.  I was devastated!

Later, eating lunch, I pulled a SoBe drink from my pack. I twisted the cap from the bottle and there, written inside were words bold, and black that proclaimed: Lizard Killer.

SoBe LizardI do not believe in coincidence, or karma, or fate …. but that day? In that moment, I believed.

Cedar Mesa is a mystical place; not haunted, but it feels sacred. There are hundreds of ruins hidden throughout in the 25 x 30 mile mesa … canyons to hike, containing thousands upon thousands of pictographs telling the stories of an ancient world.

What draws me to wander such far away spaces? Winds through the piñon, sage scented fire, and silence you can hear and feel.

To find the mesa, drive a long, long way to no where, turn left, then left again … and take a very good map.  It is a wondrous place of heat, canyons, red rocks, little water and mystery.  It’s a place for a vision quest.

Enter softly, walk quietly, stand in silence and the voices  of the ancients will sing to your soul. Even as they did to me, Lizard Killer.