Utah Travel Headlines Blog

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Explore Southern Utah's Alien Landscape

"Kathy and Craig Copeland have this interesting article in the Calgary Herald, where they describe southern Utah's canyon country as alien landscape. Below are excerpts.

"Suddenly nothing in sight jives with your conception of Earth. Your mental wheels spin furiously: no traction whatsoever. And that's the appeal of this exotic realm.

"Exploring Utah canyon country is as close to vacationing on a distant planet as we earthlings will probably ever manage. It's as otherworldly as it gets without requiring a spacesuit to step out of your vehicle.

"The first hint you've arrived on alien soil is the region's colour palette. It's as appetizing as it is arresting. Honey, mustard, salmon, tangerine, pumpkin, peach, coffee, and chocolate appear in distinct strata representing 300 million years of geologic history.

"Next comes the antigravity sensation of walking on sandstone. Known as "slickrock," it's frequently underfoot and rapturously liberating. The rock's gritty surface ("slick" is a misnomer) grants extraordinary traction, enabling you to negotiate steep pitches with Spider-Man confidence. And it's rock, so there's no vegetation to shunt you this way or that. You can follow your bliss.

"Why shoulder a pack and plod beyond? For the same reason Neil Armstrong didn't just peer out the window of his Apollo 11 lunar module once he'd landed on the moon. He came to experience, not just sightsee. So he went for a walk. You should too."

The writers go on to suggest hikes and lodging options.

Read the complete article.

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