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Green River, UT – Honeymoon Part II

After escaping the snowstorm and the threat of being trapped in the mountains, we headed west. The snow followed us for some time. Eventually we passed an unseen barrier and the familiar hue of the desert greeted us once more. 

My wife and I looked at each other alongside the edge of an anomaly it seems in this part of the world, a river. Flowing slowly, we could not help but notice the contrast of this dark and rather blueish water against the barren and orange tinged desert. We had chosen this town, Green River, Utah, as a respite before the second half of our trip and the spot where we would make our turn back towards the desert and ultimately to the conclusion of our honeymoon. 

Standing next to this unassuming river, I couldn’t help but imagine what the early explorers of this region felt. Could they sense the depth and magnitude of what this river ultimately turns into many miles away from this bucolic and ebbing trickle of water? Could they know about the challenges and rewards this small river would lead to? Like the chapters that lay before us, my wife and I can sense the potential of the life that waits for us. A life together that we both turned towards, decided to create together. 

Canyonlands National Park
My wife and Southern Utah

It is hard to imagine that the Grand Canyon is what lies at the end of this small pathway of water. John Wesley Powell, one of the chief explorers of the Grand Canyon, passed this spot in his first expedition in 1869. I could see the silhouette of a one-armed man drifting past as I thought about the journey he underwent. 

I could not help but think about the challenge of Powell’s first expedition and its comparison to the challenge and adventure of marriage. Powell’s first expedition was challenging and dangerous. The team experienced numerous cases of near drownings in places like Disaster Falls and Desolation Canyon not far from where we stood. Despite the challenges, they continued because of their goal; to explore the blank spaces on the map. Even after all they had already endured, near the end of their journey some of the team opted to go no further. These team members eventually parted ways at Separation Canyon never to be seen again. Despite these losses and the challenges, Powell’s expedition continued after Separation Canyon and ultimately made history a few days later. 

1869 Expedition Map – Oars.com

The road ahead looks challenging but it is an adventure we chose together and without fully committing we may not reach our goal. We must continue forward together despite the risks and we turn back at our own peril.

I looked around as I thought all this and I realized I had been standing in reverie for sometime. My wife had already returned to the car and the fisherman to my left looked uneasy. I waved and returned to the safety of the air conditioning.

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Landsford Canal State Park

Trail: Landsford Canal

Distance: 3.64 Miles

Date: June 2021

Description: A nice level walk along the remains of a canal and it’s supplementary buildings. All in various levels of decay, however, the trail is well maintained and we saw little traffic. The Catawba river is not far throughout the hike and roughly 2/3rds along the trails there is an observation deck to view the river and in early Summer the Spider Lilly’s are blooming. This section of the Catawba river hosts one of the largest remaining stands of Hymenocallis Coronaria or Shoals spider-Lilly.

The Canal was part of a larger inland navigation system to allow freight and traffic to use the water way from the up country to Charleston. It operated in the 1820’s until it was abandoned due to popularity of the railroad. Other canal’s in the system include Catawba Canal and Rocky Mount canal. These canal’s also were abandoned around the same time as Landsford Canal and today are largely submerged.

Map of Chester County – Carolana.com

More information: https://southcarolinaparks.com/landsford-canal

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Telluride, CO – Honeymoon Part I

San Juan Mountains in Telluride, CO

It felt like we only had minutes before the snow was coming in. If I squinted my eyes, I thought I could see white starting to crest the San Juan mountains that surrounded us as we stood along Main Street in Telluride, Colorado. 

I could see the worry in my wife’s eyes. I knew she was thinking about the weather forecast we had heard that morning; calling for 8-12 inches of snow. A typical southerner, she grew up with little experience driving in snow or cold for that matter.

I looked down at my watch. 10:45. We were cutting it close. 

Breathing in, I took one last look at Main Street of this old ski town with a vanishing point disappearing into the mountains and we hopped into our rental.

Punching in our next destination into my GPS, I couldn’t help but feel my wife’s nervous energy and the apparent urgency of the moment. I smiled because next to us was the site of the old San Miguel Valley Bank, now The Mahr Building, the site of Butch Cassidy’s first bank robbery. As I eased out of the parking space, I couldn’t help but think we were leaving this town in a similar flight. 

As it would happen, this would not be the last time my wife and I crisscrossed the trail of Cassidy and company; what later in his career would be called the “Wild Bunch”. 


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Miles to Mordor


Originally from the plains of the American Midwest, I was galvanized at a young age to get out, explore, and find mountains. I have a passion for hiking, traveling, and learning about the history of the places I explore – sometimes I also write! 

Why Miles to Mordor? Growing up, I saw my hometown as the Shire (of course I read the Lord of the Rings at a young age) and though happy, I did not have the adventures my soul longed for. Ever since leaving my hometown after high school, every step has taken me farther from home. Like the characters from my favorite book, I am on a journey, although mine is far less perilous. What better way to live your life than to see it all as one big adventure?

Travel Writing

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