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Articles written by Marjorie Slim Woodruff

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  • There's Such a Thing as Trail Etiquette, Folks

    MARJORIE SLIM WOODRUFF, Writers on the Range|Sep 6, 2023

    The uppermost switchback on the Bright Angel Trail in Grand Canyon National Park is eight feet wide. Yet the last time I hiked out, I was stymied by a group of young hikers walking down shoulder to shoulder, tapping on their phones. Even when I said, “Ahem, excuse me,” I was unceremoniously nudged out of the way — not on the cliff side, but still. It shouldn’t need mentioning, but while walking on a rocky trail where one may fall to one’s death, it is best not to be watching one’s phone. And in case you were wondering, uphill has the right of w...

  • Too Many Tourists Follow a Leader

    MARJORIE SLIM WOODRUFF, Writers on the Range|Jul 19, 2023

    A spectacular picture recently appeared on social media of a young lady in Arizona. She was poised on the edge of a cliff emblazoned with sunset colors. Immediately her online followers clamored to know where the picture was taken, so “I can get one just like it.” Turns out that it was taken on an off-trail route at the end of a potholed dirt road on the Navajo Nation, and required a permit to even enter the area. Also, I bet she did not climb to that precarious perch on that cliff wearing those fancy shoes. A local guide lamented that the are...

  • Never Hike Without This Perfect Accompaniment

    MARJORIE SLIM WOODRUFF, Writers on the Range|Aug 17, 2022

    I have long been known to have pet peeves about the debris hikers drop along trails, but one piece of litter has become more annoying: the ubiquitous facial tissue. A used tissue lying boldly in the middle of the path could indicate a person who does not know better. But a tissue stashed under a rock demonstrates that somebody knows it should be carried out, and is attempting to hide the evidence. While wearily picking up the umpteenth piece of used paper along a trail recently, I had to wonder why hikers don’t use handkerchiefs, or that i...

  • Hands Off the Rocks - Leave Them Be!

    MARJORIE SLIM WOODRUFF, Writers on the Range|Jul 28, 2021

    Hikers are flooding our public lands, so I ask the question: Why can’t people just leave the poor rocks alone? They stack them into monoliths, paint them, write rude words on them. Who looks at a magnificent 350-million-year-old rock and thinks: “That rock needs a makeover!” First point: graffiti is deplorable. I do not want to see your name, your significant other’s name, an ode to your deceased wife (not making this up), or drawings of male genitalia. As for rock stacks, rock cairns were designed to guide the hiker along a sketchy trail....