Guidelines: Choose Your Trail

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By Simon Ambit

At times when I hike or ride my horse up Huntington Canyon area, I just kind of roam across the terrain. I may ride along the wash bottom or decide to cut across it. I may take the ridge line or hike along the side hill on a deer trail for a portion until it fades. When I am up in the mountains of Nine Mile, above Helper and several parts west of Ferron, these areas are so laden with ledges that there are very few access points that will allow you to go up and beyond the ledges. A course to these access points must be chosen in advance; they can vary a by some degree but must lead to periodic specific locations along the accent if access beyond the cliffs and ledges is going to be allowed.

If you get the chance go hike Little Wild Horse Canyon. It is a wonderful place and a favorite hike of mine. It starts out in a wide wash bottom and meanders along in this fashion for a short time until suddenly the sides of the wash lurch out of the sandy banks and spring up into magnificent rock walls on both sides of you. In a short distance, you are swallowed into the belly of an enormous slot canyon. Soon, the trail along with the corridor become so close that for large portions of the canyon, you can easily touch both canyon walls. At some points, both of your shoulders may rub on either side. There is no turning to the right nor the left; it is either forward or back. When another hiker approaches from the opposite direction, there are places where the walls must be scaled and the passersby go underneath you. It is a very unique experience.

The point is, the different paths we choose lead us to differing destinations. Some paths take different routes to get us to the same place while other paths lead us far away from where we actually desire or needed to be. We need to make a course correction or two to get back on track. Occasionally, the paths we choose, like the slot canyons of Little Wild Horse, can be so defined and so specific that if we simply keep moving forward, our destination is secured.

Each day of our lives, we are choosing our path to somewhere. Some courses throughout the journey are pretty smooth sailing and have plenty of places to rest in the shade. During other legs of the excursion, the going can be hard, but remember that our destination on the horizon is often chosen by the route we choose in the valley. As we keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep on riding toward our heading, our desired destination will be reached.

Life is good, see ya on the trail!