I spent last weekend hiking in the canyons around Moab with my wife, daughter, and our two bozo dogs (one of whom I had to rescue from a half-frozen pond after he tried an ill-advised rock jump). The MLK-weekend Moab trip has become a tradition in our family. It is one of the few times I can visit the Moab-area without getting anxiety from the influx of tourists. This year it was particularly quiet, which had us speculating that a lot of the winter visitors might have made other plans in the face of the government shutdown (in spite of the fact that efforts have been made to keep a handful of Utah’s national parks open). It was one of our better trips. Deserts remain deeply restorative and sacred. My daughter is old enough to hike on her own and she insisted that we get out as often as possible. We found some new hidden hiking gems, and had Corona Arch all to ourselves on our visit. Here are some pictures.