That’s me carefully navigating a narrow, slot canyon in Escalante National Monument. The canyon, sandstone carved by water, was at the end of a a treacherous 2-hour drive on a terribly washboarded backcountry road. Despite my foul mood over the bumpy ride (which rattled my mountain bike more than any trail I’ve taken it on) and 105 degree heat, it was worth it.

It’s like walking on another planet — I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve heard there are similar canyons in Page, Arizona where they’ve installed stepladders, but the ones in Escalante are more rustic and primitive. No stepladders. No tour groups. No gift shop. At times the walls are only a foot or two wide. And there are a few sections where you have to climb or get on your hands and knees as you make your way up the canyon. Truly amazing.

I’m still in Escalante (at the charming Canyons B&B) this morning but will be returning to Salt Lake later this afternoon after a week of exploring the Colorado¬†Plateau. I’ll be rushing to organize and pack for my flight to Hong Kong on Monday. But I hope to post some pictures and impressions from the past week and a few thoughts about my trip to China.

That’s all for now. I have a breakfast — stuffed French toast — to catch.