“Industrial tourism is a threat to the national parks. But the chief victims of the system are the soft tourists. They are being robbed and robbing themselves. So long as they are unwilling to crawl out of their cars they will not discover the treasures of the national parks and will never escape the stress and turmoil of the urban-suburban complexes which they had hoped, presumably, to leave behind for a while.” –Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire
During March of 2014, Team RailRiders couple Chase Lewine and Cedar Mitchell took advantage of a week long break to explore some of the more remote regions of the American Southwest’s most popular parks: Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, and the Grand Canyon. Following the inspiration of environmental writer Edward Abbey, the two sought to find the back roads into the National Parks. Rather than go by the normal entrances, and see the standard sites with easy automobile access, they took Chase’s Jeep Wrangler through the wringer to see how few people they could run into over the course of their week long trek. The full story is available on Chase’s blog. This stunning, and empty imagery of the American Southwest speaks to the romantic pull the landscape still has on many, and just how many opportunities there are for solace in solitude in the wilds of the desert.