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I went for a two week backpacking trip and came back a month and a half later. These are my pictures and stories from the road. Hope you enjoy them. If I don't know you, please drop me a line as I created this site mostly for myself and family and would like to know what you think.

The final total was 5500 miles on the car. I didn't keep foot/trail miles, but I'm sure it was significant.

Except for the nights I stayed with Ken and Nell in Montana, I camped out every night. Only one motel beckoned me when it got late driving and I was in desperate need of a shower. I'm glad I didn't stop there, the trip just wouldn't have felt complete. The $5 shower at an RV park the next morning was worth the wait.

My favorite days were Canyonlands (June 27) and the last night.
My favorite pictures were from Canyonlands and I have every intention of returning.
My favorite stories were The Bear (June10), The Planning of the 'Rescue' (June 27), and the last night.

You might be asking: "Why all the text? Why not put all the fancy pictures at the top and make it as easy as possible to navigate? " Maybe if you read my essay called "MacDonalds Culture And National Parks." you can appreciate working for your lunch, or for your national park? It's in June 27. Anyway, use that right scroll bar and keep going down, the pictures are coming.


(June 4) I left on May 26, 2004 on a journey to get away from it all for two weeks. I'm creating this site to document the trip. Camping, Backpacking, and getting some fresh are were the goal. I think I'm succeeding.

(June 16) What started out as a simple trip to Zion, Yellowstone and a week in Montana quickly became more than I expected and now it's a sort of tour of national parks. I guess I have really missed the hiking over the years and I'm just making up for it?

(June 18) I'm headed out from Montana. I'm headed to Yellowstone Park next. Planning on 5 days there, driving to Rushmore and Crazy Horse and staying in the Badlands. After that I've been planning on heading towards the Grand Canyon and trying to backpack from rim to rim over 3-5 days. Then maybe Vegas for a night to reaclimate to the city and heading home. Have to be back by July 14, but will probably be back before the 10th.

(July 11) There will be a lot of broken links here. I'm not through with the site and still have to upload a lot of images. I arrived home July 7.

(July 13) I've been home almost a week now and have spent every free moment organizing the photos from the second half of the trip. I left for a two week trip and was enjoying it so much and really had no where else to be so I just kept extending it. I've been working on other names for the site and it has changed a couple of times. It was Traveling2004, now Walkabout2004. On the trails I came up with other names. ProvidenceTrail was one of my favorites. An aboriginal walkabout just seemed to sum it all up as I was just sort of going where my feet led me. I still find it hard to believe I had this opportunity and it is something I will never ever forget. Hope you enjoy the photos and I hope you can someday enjoy such a journey although it did come with an up front payment as the past three years were 'difficult'.

(August 31) Based upon interest from strangers on the trip, I've decided to start displaying my art and might even start selling it. Here is the first cut at a website (

Date Trip Details Highlight Photos
May 26 Driving and Zion National Park
May 27 Observation Point Hike
May 28-30 Zion Backcountry (3 nights)
May 31 Driving to The Grand Tetons
June 1 Grand Tetons National Park
June 2 Grand Tetons Backcountry (Trapper Lake)
June 3 Leaving Grand Tetons (to Montana)
June 4,5,6 Stayed with Nell and Ken in Dillon Montana  
June 7 Drove to Glacier National Park (Lake McDonald)
June 8 Drove to Many Glacier and hike to Ptarmigan Falls
June 9 Hike to Cracker Lake
June 10 Hike to Grinnell Lake (Bear encounter) also drove to Canada
June 11 Canada Waterton National Park and drive to Lake Saint Mary
June 12

Drove the Going To The Sun Road, car trouble in Missoula and returned to Dillon.

Yes, the image is gray. It was fogged in. I figure this is as close to an approximation of what I saw as any picture I could have taken.

June 12-17

Stayed a full week in Dillion Montana- Didn't take many pictures,but I did do one drawing. Someday I'm going to make a web site with all these pictures I draw.

August 31: I did finally create a site:

June 18-19 I left Dillon Montana for Yellowstone. The first night was in a regular campground. The second day I had a backcountry site, but ended up having to pack out because the site didn't exist. It was a 24 mile day with a full pack. No bear pole, no camping for me.
June 20 This day was spent exploring the geysers by car. I also had another bad backcountry experience and decided to leave Yellowstone the next day.
June 21 I toured Yellowstone Canyon and left out the East gate. I camped in Shoshone National Forest.
June 22 Made it to Bear's Lodge (Devils Tower National Monument)
June 23 Hiked around Bear's Lodge and drove to Rushmore and Crazyhorse. Camped in the Black Hills (disappointing).
June 24 Arrived in The Badlands. Did a 12-14 mile day hike along Castle Trail.
June 25 Spent the night in The Badlands Backcountry.
June 26

Got in late the night before at Colorado National Monument, did a short day hike and drove to Canyonlands National Park.

Canyonlands was my favorite place on the trip and I plan on returning.

June 27

A spectacular hike around Canyonlands. 17 miles total with a fun story to tell as well.

Very hard to pick a favorite picture from this place. So many good ones.

June 28-29

I drove to the Grand Canyon.

Got a backcountry permit for four nights starting on the second. Hiking along East Tonto from Hermit to Bright Angel. Mostly these days were spent resting, eating and drawing in the campground. Actually completed one picture, and nearly completed a second and started a third.

June 30 My birthday. Did a short hike to keep the legs going. Read, wrote and drew all day long. Had planned all along to be home by this time.
July 1 The last day of rest. A short hike near the Kaibab trailhead.
July 2 Descent into the canyon on Hermit Trail.
July 3 Granite Rapids - paradise. This camp site is less than 20 feet (10 meters) from the Colorado River on a deserted beach.
July 4-5

Granite Rapids and the last night of the trip.

I had planned on staying out longer. It was an amazing journey and this is the end. Or the beginning, depending on how you look at it. The beginning from my perspective.

I have a bunch of people and places to thank for this trip.

My Dad for taking care of my mail and acting as my backup (would call a ranger for me if I didn't check in) when I went into the backcountry.

The rest of my family for talking with me on the phone repeatedly and giving me people to miss. Mom, Sabrina Larry, Jane, Elle, Garrett, Hunter, Patrick, Nancy.

Ken and Nell for treating me so well in Dillon Montana. They've said they would love to see the rest of the family visit. I have to say this was a great place to visit and it should rank high on your list. They have plenty of room, great conversation and the food was gourmet.

My cousins Dave and Collyn. Dave's comic strip is hilarious and I would love to see them in print.

Pastor John for a couple of phone calls on the road. Never spoke with him before and this was an interesting opportunity. Attending his sermons for the past few months has been a real pleasure.

People from the trail. Jessica Terrell, Dick Piper, The Aranibar Family

Books I read

Don Quixote - Cervantes
Dune: House Corrino - Brian Herbert
Everrett Ruess - Vagabond For Beauty (recommended by Jessica) - A great read.
The Man In The High Castle - Philip K. Dick
The Bible - Proverbs 3, John 8 & 9.

As I got home, though I carried it with me the entire trip, I started
Ghost Rider - Neal Peart (a page turner, but I'm glad I saved it for home as this was a similar, though more difficult journey to my own.)

Music on the road

Kevin McDermott - Easily one of my top 5 favorite cds of all time.
The Devlins
Snow Patrol - Bought this the day before I left. Great CD! Definitely the theme of the trip.
Hothouse Flowers
The Alarm
Mark Seymour (Hunters And Collectors)
St. Germain
Charles Webster
Badly Drawn Boy
Pink Floyd
Paul Oakenfold
David Gray
Pete Yorn
Luka Bloom
Christy Moore
Paul Brady

Music On The Trail (practicing guitar without the guitar, keeping the bears away without talking to myself. Trying to look just a little less insane...)

Whatever Comes To Pass - Kevin McDermott
Throw Your Arms Around Me - Hunters and Collectors
I Stopped To Fill My Car Up - Stereophonics - (learned in the car while driving, perfected on the trail)

"I didn't know where I was going,
but it felt good for a change."


One Step Closer To Home - The Alarm - Eye Of The Hurricane (one of my all time favorites)

Say that`s alright
The harder it fights
I`m one step closer to home
The deeper it bites
I`m one step closer to home
And you can tie my hands
Or whip my back
I can`t give in
`Til the sky turns black
I may get lost

Wide Open -The Devlins
Cats In The Cradle - Harry Chapin (nothing to do with my Dad, just a song about regret)
Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd
Sweet Marie - Hothouse Flowers

Costco - one of my favorite places to get decent food for camping.
Wal-mart - a staple on the road
REI - Great equipment.
Nikon - My camera is a CoolPix 2100 (2 megapixel) digital. I got it for $119 at Costco! Great Deal!
Honda - while my car didn't run well (and still isn't after around $400 total) I love my car. I hit 150,000 miles at the Grand Canyon. It never let me down.
The Patagonia Outlet in Dillon. Everyone was talking about it and I got a great sweater for cheap.


(c) copyright 2004 - W. Wood Harter - All Rights Reserved
For info: wood @