The West still feels wild. America’s interior has only recently been fully explored.
The canyons of the Colorado River were unmapped until John Wesley Powell’s expedition in 1869. He floated from Wyoming to Nevada, passing through what is now Canyonlands National Park in Utah.
Ten people started the journey with him. Four of them abandoned their boats, climbed the canyon walls, and quit. The other six made it to the end.
We’ve been waking up early and hiking before opening our laptops most mornings. Last week, we woke up at 5am and drove 1.5 hours south into The Needles of Canyonlands.
The sun was starting to peak above the rocks just as we reached the Elephant Hill trailhead. I felt like I was on the set of A Land Before Time. We hiked and trail-ran an 11-mile loop - through deep canyons, around rock towers - and got back to the car around noon.
Here’s a picture we took along the way. When we got back to Moab, I pulled up the location on Google Maps. It looks even cooler from above.