Photo Credit: Wiki-Commons

Watersheds West of the Wasatch

I don’t know how to write this as a happy story. I don’t know how to talk about the Great Salt Lake right now without at least a bit of this heaviness settling into my gut and my chest.   There isn’t anything like it, this bizarre body of water. The Uinta mountains to the Read More

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The Je Ne Sais Quoi of the Campfire Marshmallow

The Je Ne Sais Quoi of the Campfire Marshmallow (Yes, this is literally a puff piece. But stick with me.) The food on a Holiday river expedition is superb. The muscled guides unpack a full kitchen from the boat, and then turn to their more delicate talents: churning out fluffy pancakes or flavor-packed lasagna, or Read More

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Rhapsody on River Foam

  Guides call it ‘beaver vomit,’ the plumes of brown foam along the river. When you first see the lines of froth, you might suspect foul play and pollution. But long-time Holiday guide Lauren Wood reassured me: “This is the good stuff. This is a healthy river.” Lauren’s words, as they often do, cajoled me Read More

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What’s Right With Uintah County: In Eight Parts

A market analyst once told me about God’s plan for dirt. He said it’s all well and good to talk about how special land is when I’m in a spectacular red rock national park, like Arches — but, he asserted, “other places God just stuck dirt to keep the earth from falling apart.” This wasn’t Read More

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Evil Weeds and Post-apocalyptic Permaculture

Don’t try to tell me tamarisk isn’t pretty. I’ve scratched my skin to ribbons on those ruddy twigs, those blue-green feathers of leaves and plumes of purple dust-flowers. I know beauty when I see it. It’s called Tamarix chinensis, as in China, where it rightfully, geographically, ecologically belongs. But it was brought here because it Read More

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Shhh, Listen, Do You Hear That? Eavesdropping on John Wesley Powell and his Historic Geographic River Expedition

By Peta Liston-Owens What comes to mind when envisioning John Wesley Powell’s 1869 three-month raucous river expedition through the unchartered terrain of the Green and Colorado rivers, and into the depths of the Grand Canyon? In his book, Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons, passages paint images of striking landscape and stomach-dropping first Read More

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Green River Rafting Trips: A Little History Lesson on Lodore Canyon

    By Kenzie Comstock The History of Lodore Canyon During the summer of 1869, John Wesley Powell led the Powell Geographic Expedition into the areas of the Green and Colorado rivers. This was a groundbreaking expedition and the first known passage into the Grand Canyon. The expedition endured great hardships and grave dangers during their three-month Read More

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Wild Woman of the Whitewater: the Story of Georgie White

In the Grand Canyon there’s a mean little rapid named Georgie. It’s named for a woman who, in her 70s, could still be found racing full-tilt down the canyon in a leopard-print leotard, a beer in her hand. Georgie White was born in 1911 in Oklahoma, and was actually named Bessie DeRoss. She was born Read More

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Hope in the Dark and Hope Behind the Dam: How a water crisis could re-wild a river

In 1963 the gates of Glen Canyon Dam shut, and the waters rose. Over the following 19 years, 186 miles of canyons sank under the water and mud, and with them sank over 4,000 ancient ruins and petroglyphs, and habitat for 79 plant species, 189 bird species, 34 kinds of mammals. But what do the Read More

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Mud Bugs, Chubs, and Citizen Scientists: how river guides give back to the canyon

By: Kate Savage No matter how magnificent they are, the rivers of the West are more or less made out of mud. Those Grand Canyon walls? Petrified mud. And the grounding base of life in this place is made up of wriggling mud-bugs. By ‘mud-bugs’ I mean the larval form of aquatic insects: mayflies, caddisflies, Read More