In the course of perusing the last few handout volumes to decide whether the usual ancillary information is useful, I noticed editorial prefaces have begun to appear. So, I figured I'd take advantage of that. Since I won't be joining you for this trip, this is the only chance I have for a pointless ramble.
The handout volumes have changed greatly over the years since the first one was put together (Mike Nolan for the first Canyon de Chelly trip, Spring 1992). That one was sorta stapled together, with the cover barely hanging on. You could perhaps view my efforts here as ``getting back to the roots''. Or not. The cover won't be too fancy, and I may or may not number the pages. Sorry about how lame the Arizona/Utah maps are.
This trip will be the first with a Utahn destination in the post-ad-hoc era (not counting our stop in Salt Lake City on the Yellowstone trip, with David Trilling led some improvised aerial geology on the way in). These trips have now visited seven U. S. states (Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, and Wyoming-- we just missed Idaho), and Baja California (Sonora has been visited on Surfaces trips). Ten national parks have been visited, or at least skirted (Chiracahua, Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Canyon de Chelly, Guadalupe Mountains, Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands, Yellowstone, Joshua Tree, and the Channel Islands), not counting those on Surfaces trips (Organ Pipe, Sunset Crater, Pinacate of Mexico), or the three on the current itinerary (Natural Bridges, Canyonlands and Arches-- maybe I should send my NPS passport along). As can be seen from the map on the next page, we've covered a lot of ground over the years, and the frontier of unvisited territory is being pushed outward to perhaps the southwest corner of Colorado/northern New Mexico in one direction, Zion/Bryce to the north/northwest, and perhaps Death Valley to the west. Of course, some areas haven't been visited in five or more years (inland Southern California/Joshua Tree, Superstitions, Grand Canyon).
Well, this ramble isn't nearly as long as I'd hoped. It was pointless, at least. Quaff a beer for me at the campfire on the first night. Enjoy the stars and the rocks.
Andrew Rivkin, ed.