Hooves on the Ground: Grand Canyon

A few years ago we found ourselves in Grand Canyon during the last week of April. We tried for and were issued a walk-up permit to backpack down into the Canyon, spending a few blissful days and nights soaking in its grandeur. Right then and there we got hooked on the splendor and intimacy of a trek below the rim. And so every last week of April since, we have made it a point to return to that big crack in the earth and tackle a below-the-rim route. 

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Hooves on the Ground: Mecca Hills Wilderness, Salton Sea & Slab City

Though I'm a mule deer by birth, at heart I'm a desert rat. That is to say that, while I would never trade the life-sustaining bounty that the oak woodlands and chaparral-covered mountains of my home provide, if given the chance to saunter off to an unknown place for a few days, I will gladly choose a desert landscape. What is it about these arid lands that draws me in? In part, it's the elegant simplicity of the landscape -- no towering trees, no verdant, superfluous overgrowth under every fallen log, no view obscured by heavy fog. In the desert, an invisible hand seems responsible for placing each rock and plant just exactly where it belongs, like a sparsely choreographed dance forever fixed in place. But what calls me to the desert even more is the simple fact that every living thing there has an innate will to live that's stronger than anywhere else. 

Lucky for me, E+J share a similar curiosity for the desert. And so we found ourselves exploring a few less-traveled corners of the Colorado Desert of Southern California over Memorial Day weekend. 

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