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More Than a Rock by Guy Tal

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46Early Spring Meanderings

It is a lovely and terrible wilderness, such a wilderness as Christ and the prophets went out into; harshly and beautifully colored, broken and worn until its bones are exposed, its great sky without a smudge of taint from Technocracy, and in hidden corners and pockets under its cliffs the sudden poetry of springs. Save a piece of country like that intact, and it does not matter in the slightest that only a few people every year will go into it. That is precisely its value. Roads would be a desecration, crowds would ruin it.

—Wallace Stegner

As spring slowly awakened life on the high plateaus, I went on my first solo backpacking trip of the season. While nights at home still dipped below freezing, the canyon country ...

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