Chums Lifestyle

Then and Now
by Sinjin Eberle

The first time I floated the Green River through Desolation Canyon, I was 25 years old – fresh out of college and starting my budding career in conservation. It was August – a hot stretch in the Utah desert with daytime highs easily over 100 degrees and the nights seemingly about the same. I remember the towering rock walls framing each meander, the brilliant skyline casting a deep blue brushstroke over rust-toned ramparts in every direction, the sense of remote adventure of the shuttle flight upriver to our launch.

Now, nearly 25 years later, launching from that spot again felt like reacquainting with a childhood friend – the one that you may not have seen in decades, but as soon as you reunite, time melts away and conversations spark like it was just yesterday. That’s the thing about our public lands – they have always been there for us, unchanged, resolute, brilliant, and grand. And when I say they have been there for us, I literally mean that they are there for ALL of us – each and every American has the privilege and opportunity to enjoy, engage, and participate in our public lands. Whether it is a city park, your local bike path, State Park, or National Monument, each of us has some form of public lands in our backyard every day – a gift that we can each embrace on a moment’s notice, or through a larger adventure, like this, with our friends and loved ones. Returning back to Desolation Canyon sparks a reminder of all these things, and re-establishes my motivation to protect these places, these rivers, and these landscapes, so they are exactly how I remember them, maybe 25 years from now. Until next time…