JimAton-Deso 146

Feathered Velociraptors on the River

Bird Day is Saturday, May 14th, and there’s bound to be a fun-and-feather-filled celebration near you! Here are some reasons to give a day to the fierce little dinosaurs who live on the river. We put cute birdies on bland Hallmark cards and ladies hats and Portland’s pillows, but here’s the scientific truth: Birds are Read More

It's a Beaver

Saved by the Rodent: beavers build hope for the West

In the deserts of the West, the most precious resource is water, and that water has a guardian, and that guardian is a very big rodent. We see their wet fur in glimpses, or startle at their warning-slap on the water, recognizing that the danger they’re shouting is us. Or maybe we only see the Read More

2011-06-21-Deso-472

Fighting the Current: Deleted Words and Depleted Rivers

Over the past decade, Oxford Junior Dictionary has weeded nature out of its words. Acorn, Apricot, Blackberry, Dandelion — the plants have wilted straight out of the text, along with their animal kin Beaver, Heron, Cheetah. Their empty posts have been taken by Broadband, MP3 player, Chatroom (tellingly, Allergy, Drought, and Endangered have also made Read More

2010-07-19-Lodore-3228

Giving to Living Rivers: an interview with John Weisheit

  Book your Utah river trip between April 11-22 and get more than a Great Deal discount. In celebration of Earth Day, not only will you save 5% on your trip, Holiday will donate an additional 5% to Living Rivers, staunch protectors of the Colorado River Watershed. As a kid in church I belted out Read More

Honey Bee

The University of Dee, Salt Lake City Campus

By Susan Munroe I am surrounded by books: eddied out among wobbly stacks of geology texts, river history, Edward Abbey, naturalist guides, bird books, water politics, meditative writings, John Wesley Powell, and the collected writings of the incomparable Dee Holladay. Most river guides spend their off-season skiing or traveling. I’m hanging out in the Holiday Read More

10500409_903607566686_6690025895681388600_n

Of Tasmanian Devils and Women

Happy International Women’s Day! I celebrated by having a conversation with a Holiday River Expeditions river running legend (and a warm and beautiful human), who’s known for helping to create a culture of respect — and wild-romping fun — in the rafting community. Tammy Besmehn’s her name, but on the river she’s known as Taz Read More

P1130070

Desert Varnish: Weird Life in Wild Places

When you float down the Yampa you’re being carried on one of the West’s last wholly wild rivers. Try as the developers might, the Yampa remains undammed — the last of its kind in the entire Colorado drainage. So I mean Wild as in dinosaurs. Wild as in tigers. Dinosaur National Monument hides a particular Read More

Low-water levels create a bathtub ring around "Lake" Powell

Changing Course: How a Child of the Desert Confronts the limits of Growth, Water and Pipelines

Like all Utahns I was born in a hot valley, gulping from snow-melt streams. Like the rest, my mother’s water broke and I slid out in the nexus of two myths: 1) The Lord provides — God opens the windows of heaven, and the drought will end; 2) Next season, to keep from worrying, we’ll Read More

A magnificent ecosystem held together by the tiniest of organisms

Even the Dirt Breathes Here: finding cryptobiotic wonder at your feet

by Kate Savage “After the one extravagant gesture of creation in the first place, the universe has continued to deal exclusively in extravagances, flinging intricacies and colossi down aeons of emptiness, heaping profusions on profligacies with ever-fresh vigor. The whole show has been on fire from the word go. I come down to the water Read More

2011-06-09-Yampa-397

Utah Desert Springtime Wildflowers Are Here!

By Julie Trevelyan   People often think of deserts as barren wastelands. Nothing could be farther from the truth in Utah. Whether you take a Colorado river rafting vacation down an awesome canyon like Cataract or take a mountain biking trip on the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park, the spring months tend toward Read More