Friday, January 24, 2020

Now I know, so now I can go

In my travels around the West I’ve passed many amazing hiking spots. Because I didn’t know they were there, or I didn’t know how to get to them. And I didn’t know whether they were actually worth driving miles down sketchy dirt roads, far from civilization and help. Or whether they were within my abilities.

Well, thanks to Roxy Whalley I have the answers. I met her. I watched some of her videos. Yes, the places are incredibly beautiful, and she can get there and hike them—often alone. Now I want to go and experience it all myself.

In one of her videos, Roxy recommended Michael R. Kelsey’s Non-Technical Canyon Hiking Guide to the Colorado Plateau. (The Non-Technical part really caught my attention.) Descriptions, directions, maps, photos and piles of information on places you can hike without special skills (other than common sense and a desire for self-preservation).

Just a few months ago, on the way to hiking in Capitol Reef National Park with my sister and brother-in-law, I saw signs for the Devil’s Backbone, between Escalante and Boulder, Utah. What was that all about? Connie and Kent didn’t know much. Kelsey knows a lot. He has hiked hundreds of trails in the region, from Dinosaur National Monument, to Grand Canyon, to Mesa Verde, and has made notes about it all. I ordered the book and it arrived yesterday.

So I guess I’ll have to get out there and do more walking, get in shape. And find a hiking partner or two.


  1. Slot canyons are on our bucket list.

  2. Thank you for the introduction to Roxy, I will have many hours of enjoyment watching her videos.

  3. Make sure you pound down mass amounts of calcium and vitamin D to save your joints.

  4. Thanks for sharing. I just ordered one.

  5. Hell's Backbone is a bridge built by the CCC on FR153 near Boulder. It's gorgeous, but not nearly as terrifying, in my opinion, to The Hogback vista point on Hwy 12 just South of Boulder. The bridge at least has guard rails. ~Camille

    1. And thanks to the book, I now know there are several hiking trails off Hell's Backbone Rd.