On the Trail: A news break in Utah’s canyons | AspenTimes.com

On the Trail: A news break in Utah’s canyons

Katie Redding
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ESCALANTE, Utah ” By the third day of our backpacking trip in the Utah canyons, even the dog had relaxed.

For once, she didn’t totally lose it when I pulled out her purple leash in the process of repacking my pack. In any normal situation she turns instantly into a canine boomerang upon laying eyes on her leash, even if she’s already three hours into a run.

But this time, she just sat Zen-like on a rock as I repacked her favorite object.

“I finally get it,” she seemed to be saying. “It’s really all just one big, long walk, isn’t it?”

A few days earlier, when I had called my mother to detail our route ” in case my dog, my husband and I didn’t re-emerge ” she sighed.

Couldn’t we go some place a little less adventurous for once, she wondered aloud. Like a beach in Mexico?

I’m sure someday we’ll opt for the beach vacation. But in the meantime, we decided to head to the bottom of a canyon because it was perhaps the best possible place for a reporter to take a few days off. There was no cell service. There was definitely no Internet. We did not hear the words “Barack Obama,” “AIG,” or even “Britney Spears” for what seemed like an impossibly long time.

The closest thing we got to news about any other human was the name of George Brigham Hobbs chopped into a rock. Caught in a snowstorm on Feb. 22, 1883, he apparently thought he was going to die. Instead, the storm cleared, and he resumed his journey. More than 100 years later, his name is still there.

The news break didn’t last long after we reached the car again, of course. We picked up NPR just about the time we hit the main highway at Boulder, Utah, and I read the Sunday New York Times cover to cover as soon as we got home.

As for the dog, her new Zen-like personality lasted exactly until the moment we left her alone in the car with only a dog gate separating her from a fresh bakery brownie.

“Um, is that your Volvo outside?” wondered a customer in the store we’d just entered. “Because your dog is going crazy.”

We both realized the brownie mistake in the exact same moment, and rushed out. But not a crumb was left ” just a dog boomeranging back and forth in the front seat.


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