(Still) Searching For Tao Canyon

On the eve of publication of our long overdue canyons book (40 years in the making), we headed south on what had once been an annual spring pilgrimage to thaw out in red rock canyon country.

Searching For Tao Canyon, published by Rocky Mountain Books, is a tribute to our dearly departed friend and colleague Art Twomey. With it we hope to build a heightened appreciation for what the untamed nature of canyon country can teach us, and the need for an adoring public to do everything we can to protect it…from insatiable extractive industries, and from being loved to death.

We rendezvoused with Jeremy Schmidt and Wendy Baylor for a magical hike in the maze of wild canyons that Art, Margie Jamieson and i had wandered into more than three decades ago.

Key to the success of the trip, our Navajo friend Eli Neztsosie, who is a rancher and endurance runner, escorted us with his packhorses into the magnificent place he calls home. Many thanks to Eli and his resourceful family for hosting us on their traditional land.

Even though the more accessible canyons that we photographed all those years ago are now international tourist attractions (one in particular sees a “line dance” of mostly international visitors capped at 2500 a day), there’s still plenty of wild left in the slickrock wilderness, which we intend to visit again next spring. The search for the ultimate Tao (The Way) canyon continues…

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try as we might, we can't remember where this shot was taken

try as we might, we can't remember where this shot was taken