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Utah Route 12 East of Escalante UT

Boondocked east of Escalante UT, April 14, 2011
Boondocked east of Escalante UT, April 14, 2011

There are some good spots to boondock in the Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument along Utah Route 12 between Escalante and Boulder. This spot is on the ridge west of Spencer Flat Road and overlooks Escalante to the west and Escalante Canyons to the east.

Three hundred degree view

At the very top of the ridge above the 8% grade descending east to Spencer Flat Road, turn south into the access road to the communications tower atop the ridge. At the end of the road is a highway maintenance yard with lots of good level parking and an expansive 300 degree view.

Utah Route 12 East of Escalante UT

Nights I've camped here

Emptiness

Emptiness shouldn't be thought of as a negative. A lot of people misconstrue that as meaning the opposite of something is nothing. But this is something slightly different. I don't want to get into comparative religious things because that's a complicated topic. But if we were to think about it, the problem of life and death has to do with what comes in between, and what comes in between is an awful lot of suffering. We're not just talking about the pain of suffering, we're talking about suffering. Our common everyday parlance it's called stress. That's a kind of suffering and we die from this. From the standpoint of Zen Buddhism this life isn't some sort of stage mock-up for something else that comes after this. This is what we have. We're right here and we're being in this present moment. What you want to think about when you think about emptiness is a way in which to stay present. Just as, in a way, in a very strange kind of concept, there really is no such thing as time. There's no dress rehersal for anything.

The Artful Mind, Reverend Sohaku Flagg, Rinzai Buddhist priest, in an interview with Nanci Race, Jan/Feb 2003

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