The Official Utah State Firearm

From yesterday’s Salt Lake Tribune I learned that Utah may get a state gun: the Browning M1911 semiautomatic pistol, designed by Utahn John Browning. Utah would be the first state to get its own gun. While this is an interesting idea, I’m not sure that .45 is the right caliber: The Utah state animal is… Continue reading The Official Utah State Firearm

Categorized as Utah

November Snowshoeing

[nggallery id=28] I make it into the Uinta mountain range less than once a year, on average, even though its near end is only an hour from SLC. Yesterday, taking advantage of the early snowfall, Bill and I snowshoed up the Norway Flats trail a few miles east of Kamas, UT. Actually we didn’t even… Continue reading November Snowshoeing

Angel’s Landing

[nggallery id=27] Earlier this fall while visiting Zion NP I did the Angel’s Landing hike with friends. This route climbs the spine of a sandstone fin that sticks out into the middle of Zion Canyon, with thousand-foot drops on both sides. This video captures the feel, though the use of a wide-angle lens makes it… Continue reading Angel’s Landing

Maze Rejection #2

Bill and I planned a backpacking trip to the Fins area of the Maze District during Spring Break 2010, but were foiled when several feet of abnormally late snow made the Flint Trail (the “roughest routinely traveled road in Utah”) impassable. This week, during the University of Utah’s Fall Break, we tried again, but were… Continue reading Maze Rejection #2

Strange Utah

Pretty much anyone in the world who knows that Utah exists, knows that Utah is weird. Outsiders have vague and usually uninformed — but nevertheless strong — feelings about Utah. Residents have more concrete information. The proper reaction is not to deny, marginalize, or rationalize Utah’s weirdness. The proper reaction is to embrace it, because… Continue reading Strange Utah

Categorized as Utah


At 11749′ / 3581 m, Timpanogos is the second-highest mountain in the Wasatch Range. It’s a classic Utah hike and I’d wanted to do it for years, but never managed to convince myself the extra driving was worth it when there are a couple dozen 11,000′ peaks that are closer. Basically I should have done… Continue reading Timpanogos

Ten Years in Utah

Ten years ago today Sarah and I and the cats woke up somewhere in western Kansas and drove to our rental house in Salt Lake City: A lot has happened since then — marriage, kids, tenure — but still, it’s hard to imagine that more than a quarter of our lives has been spent in… Continue reading Ten Years in Utah

Categorized as Utah

Red Baldy

People following the “outdoors” thread on this blog will have noticed that Bill and I failed to summit on Mount Baker and also on White Baldy this year already. I’m not all about summiting, but this got on my nerves a little. Yesterday I decided to climb Red Baldy, an 11,000′ neighbor to White Baldy.… Continue reading Red Baldy

Grandview Peak

[nggallery id=23] Grandview Peak, at 9410′, is the highest point in Salt Lake City. Even so, it’s a long way from anywhere and no trail goes to its summit. Over the course of four trips to Grandview I’ve yet to see another person within two miles of the top (not counting whoever I’m hiking with,… Continue reading Grandview Peak

White Baldy

White Baldy, on the ridge between the Red Pine and White Pine drainages of Little Cottonwood Canyon in Utah’s Wasatch Range, is an infrequently visited 11,000′ mountain with no really easy routes: its east, west, and north ridges are all messes of bus-sized boulders. Bill and I decided that if we were ever going to… Continue reading White Baldy