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Deborah Wall


Local drugstores offer Christmas goodies for outdoorsmen

Well, if you did it again — waited until the last minute to buy Christmas presents for your favorite hiker or camper — you’re not in so much trouble as you may think. Some of the most practical and appreciated gifts for outdoorsmen can be purchased at a CVS, Walgreens or hardware store through Christmas Eve. Furthermore, they’re inexpensive, so you can buy several items, making it certain the recipient will truly love at least one. Buy a low-cost stocking, fill it to the brim, and it will even look like you planned ahead.

Monumental history to be found in Native American valley

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is home to some of the most stunning buttes, mesas, arches and panoramas in the world. So familiar are some of these views, through Western films and television, that even an informal mental list of things to do before “kicking the bucket” often includes seeing them in person. The fall and winter months are appropriate for the visit, all the more so because many closer attractions on federal land have been closed due to the budget gridlock. This park lies not on federal land but on the 16 million-acre Navajo Reservation, so it remains open.

Escape summer's swelter in Bryce Canyon's lofty elevations

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah is enjoyed by about 2 million visitors a year who come to see its 10 deep, hoodoo-filled amphitheaters. Hoodoos are called that because they are tall natural columns that suggest living but unearthly beings. They are formed by an unusual type of erosion involving the freeze-and-thaw cycle that is repeated approximately 200 days every year due to the park’s high elevation.