Escalante, UT

“As to when I shall visit civilization, it will not be soon, I think.

I have not tired of the wilderness; rather I enjoy its beauty and the vagrant life I lead, more keenly all the time. I prefer the saddle to the streetcar and star-sprinkled sky to a roof, the obscure and difficult trail, leading into the unknown, to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the wild to the discontent bred by cities.

Do you blame me then for staying here, where I feel that I belong and am one with the world around me? It is true that I miss intelligent companionship, but there are so few with whom I can share the things that mean so much to me that I have learned to contain myself.

It is enough that I am surrounded with beauty….”

Everett Ruess

Those are the words of a young man not dreaming but living his life.

Just passed through Escalante, gateway to the Grand Staircase – Escalante  National Monument. Why would a 20-year old fall in love with this rugged landscape? Maybe it was the solitude, the simplicity, and unforgiving hardship that made this young man feeling alive.

70 years after his disappearance the community of Escalante and friends of Everett commemorate the adventurous traveler every year in fall with an art festival.

It is tempting to take one of the dirt roads off scenic highway 12 to get lost in the wonder world of this amazing gem.