Utah, Terry Tempest Williams, Terry discussed on Travel with Rick Steves
Find out. What's the best time to go seasonally for the weather to take the hiking trails in the area up there and the Burner Open? Land does a couple of different ones. That are really good. I particularly like June end of May June. Because that's when the flowers are blooming If you go in the fall which is also nice September. The leave started change and the hillside is is on fire with color. I like the summer anytime in the summer for just the reliable weather in the long days and the warmth August is a very good in fact. One of my favorite Christmas is ever was gaveled grass in the winter. It is gorgeous in the winter but the hiking is limited. No there's no then and I went up with my favorite hotelier Walter where you worked and we went up to Marin and and we sled it down on the trail. I did the same thing with Walter. It's beautiful isn't it and beat me down and there's a classic Old Hotel Your He. He was like a little kid when he sat on his sled. Just that here's a Swiss boy at heart forever. He must've been eighty years old when we did this. Get Lean. Thanks for your call. Thanks this is travel with Rick Steves. We've been talking with John. Kamara about the heights. And the Culture Switzerland's Berner Oberland Don. I've always been charmed by the when the cows come down from the high metal. This is not something that's just in the story books. This actually happens. I was just recently there and after a long hike I heard this tinkle tinkle. Choi coming down the mountain. Well yeah talks about how that happens. What's the deal? Well throughout the year that animals are taken up to higher pastures. So that they can be set. Free and munch on the meadows and as the weather starts to get colder. They bring the cows down a little bit a little bit and eventually have to bring back to the to the local town to injure their barnes for for the winter and they've got their bells they got their bells on and it really. The bigger. The bell is the more prestigious. That cow is they're all pedigree and not only do they have bells to have flowers on their heads and the the farmers that are bringing the cows. Downer also dressed in traditional clothing twentieth. Twenty-first is lake past centuries alive. Yep and we can experience it done Kamara. Thanks so much and take some time. I get the pleasure. If there was a contest for most colorful nation on earth the Philippines might be a good bit. We'll explore the nation of seven thousand islands in just a bit but first when the bidding sagged on an oil and gas lease sale for drilling on federal land. Utah the auctioneer joked. Come on man. This is a lotta scenery going to waste well. Writer and environmental activist. Terry Tempest Williams was in the room. She explains why she and her husband bid on those unsold parcels and why they created tempest exploration LLC as the first energy company devoted to keeping fossil in the ground that Utah Terry Tempest Williams. That's next on travel. With Rick Steves hiking in the Red Rock wilds of the Utah Desert. It might soon notice and unusual sound listen closely and you may hear mining oil drilling on what used to be federally protected land or maybe it's just the sound of Teddy Roosevelt spinning in his grave. Ever since President Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act nineteen o six to create national monuments that protect natural and cultural heritage sites across America. There's been pushback from some industrial interests. For the last few years Terry Tempest Williams has been writing columns in the New York Times and elsewhere about the battle going on in her native. Utah on one hand are her neighbors. Who Support the trump administration's removing protections on many federal lands especially at bears ears. National Monument on the other hand are those who prefer the type of tourism a quiet wilderness attracts and note the warning from tribal leaders that thousands of their ancestors. Archaeological sites are at risk of now being open for business. Utah's rich with more than a dozen parks and monuments run by the National Park Service and the Bureau of land management when Terry found there. Were no takers for oil and gas leases. That was offering near her home. She and her husband got an idea. She joins us now to tell us about it into explain why. Utah remained such a special place for her. Terry thanks for being with us again. Thank you record is love our conversations Terry Utah you happen to live in a state that has what five national parks and seven National Monuments. And you grew up there. What does Utah Mean to you? Utah is bedrock. It's family. It's where the bones of my ancestors dwell six generations. I come from a a Mormon family. my roots for an American Westerner Who is white are are deep and my devotion is is very real. Terry wrote that. You had a seminal moment as a child. Pornography Cave National Monument. What happened I loved Him Pinocchio? It's a mountain in the shape of a woman and we are told from the time we have a memory that this is where the spirit of the maiden of Tim. Focus lives and every time you drive by from Provo Utah to Salt Lake. You see her as a child. I could swear that I saw her breathe. This is A story told by people and I remember a ute grandmother who I knew as a child told me that inside that mountain was the beating heart of the maiden so when I was eight years old our Church group which is Mormon. I decided that upon our baptism into the church. We would hike up to mount timber notice and enter this cave. It's about a mile and a half straight up. We were there. I remember these iron green doors. They open there was a park ranger. We entered inside the mouth of the cave. The temperature dropped. It was humid here. Were these stalactites. Stalagmites registered his teeth. We started walking on this raised path. So that you weren't stepping on the stalagmites and there we walked through this magical these magical forms called father. Times jewel box the valley of sleep but I could hardly concentrate all I could think of is. Where is the beating heart of the maiden of the mountain in there? It was large wet huge. I wondered if you attached it. Would it register as cold or Hot? I was completely mesmerized so much so that I failed to continue walking with the rest of my group. Suddenly the lights went off. The door slammed and I was left in the heart of the mountain with the darkness. I have never known. I can't tell you when fear turned to wonder. But what I can tell you is that I felt that beating heart even as my own. I don't know how long I was there but suddenly I heard the door opened the light. Go on and there was my primary team saying. Oh you're saved but I wanted to say you didn't save me. The mountain did and I think for the rest of my life. I've been trying to find that same experience of being held that closely to that kind of power and dare I say love. You know every time I go into a national park. I meet the miraculous. But if I'm honest I think I'm still searching for that sense of And Majesty wonder and fear that I felt in those moments of of being inside that mountain next to that heart. You mentioned the tribe. Is that where Utah comes from? It's the indigenous people that live there. I UTA yes. Yes because that experience you had. It's seems like it's almost trying to duplicate inexperience Indian. Kids might have had as they came of age and gained an appreciation of nature. You know I don't know My Friend Regina Lopez White Skunk who viewed? I have so much respect for her sense of circles and cycles in the land her deep sense of politics and protection on. She was one of the members of the bears. Ears intertribal commission who has fought so diligently to protect these lands that are under siege By this current administration. And so you know I think native people they stay. And that's what I want to model is. How do we stay and be loyal to a place have a fidelity place? Yeah if closeness to the land is is a good thing. They have an advantage built in that we can be. I think aspire to they also know what it means to have it removed and I think we are just now beginning to touch on what native people have felt all along as we watch our public lands in a move to be privatized to be sold to the highest bidder. Terry Tempest Williams is our guest on. Travel Rick Steves. She writes about the landscape of her native Utah and her relationship. With twelve of America's national parks in her book called the hour of land. It's now out in paperback. Terry's also writer in residence at the Harvard Divinity School. And she's been a visiting professor in environmental studies at Dartmouth College Terry President. Obama set aside one point three million acres for. Utah's bears ears National Monument back in two thousand sixteen. The trump administration reduced ears by eighty five percent. This is now being challenged in the courts. What are your thoughts on this when you look at laws like the nineteen o? Six antiquities at that protects these wild lands and cultural spaces. I think it it has helped define who we are as Americans that was established with Theodore Roosevelt and I have faith in the open space of democracy and the will of the people but right now I would be lying to you. If I didn't say that I am concerned and and I am standing with native people indigenous people and the tribes that we are closest to Utah. Which would be the Navajo the Hopi the Zuni and other tribes within the Colorado plateau or standing on the side of protecting bears. Ears National Monument. Terry Okay you're talking about the value. The the intangible value really of of a National Monument Lake bears ears. Now what if I just think whether it's a real need energy independence jobs the economy? How can you put a price on the value of over a million acres when when I really think it can help us have a stronger economy and become energy independent? What's so important about bears ears other than what we.