Year two in Utah begins

Today is the first day of my second year in Utah. I had a good enough first year that I will stay for another, but that does not mean it was without difficulties or tears.

I have not yet found a job with my journalism degree, which is the cause of most of my difficulties and tears. I do not really want a new degree because I like the one I have and would love to use it some more, but I am running out of time and reluctantly expect to find myself returning to college at some point.

Money is tight and I am learning what it is like to not do what I would like to because I cannot afford it.

But that has not stopped me from traveling locally (well, within a seven-hour radius that gets me to Montana, Las Vegas and the farthest reaches of Utah dirt roads). I have seen plenty of awesome natural and ancient sights in Utah and there are plenty more to see, too.

Here’s some of what I’ve done this year:

I am beginning to obsess over ancient Anasazi art petroglyphs and pictographs.

Eerie pictographs in the San Rafael Swell. The first ones I saw.

Hand print pictographs and a kiva at Natural Bridges

I saw my first bison at Antelope Island State Park.

Bison at Antelope Island State Park

I did my first solo hike at Grand Teton National Park and my first solo tent camping at Yellowstone National Park.

At a Jenny Lake overlook on my solo hike

Maybe the worst public campsite I have encountered at Mammoth Hot Springs campground

I saw my first hot spring and erupting geyser at Yellowstone.

Terrace Spring

Norris Geyser Basin

I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried canyoneering. You can read about it here: Learning to grow.

West Fork of White Roost Canyon

Suited up for Pine Creek Canyon

I spent a season skiing the “greatest snow on earth” at Alta.

Suited up for skiing

And I’m turning into a protector of the wilderness here, because it is beautiful and there are plenty of nutjobs in this state who think making more money at the expense of the environment is the way to go.

Little Cottonwood Canyon in early fall

So that’s been my year and I am excited to see what year two brings.

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