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Welcome to, my little travelogue on the web. My name is Randy and I live at the edge of the Rocky Mountains on the Colorado Plateau in Grand Junction, Colorado where I try to spend as much of my free time exploring this beautiful area as I can. I started this blog as a way for me to document and remember these adventures for myself, but it’s also been a great way for me to share these adventures and hopefully inspire others to also make time to enjoy the things that they love to do.

Randy LangstraatGrowing up in the suburbs of Chicago I didn’t get to spend any time hiking or exploring the outdoors or experiencing the vast wilderness areas we have in this country. I wasn’t really introduced to the mountains and deserts of the Southwest until I bought my first Jeep Cherokee and took it to Moab for the first time. It was on that trip that I instantly fell in love with the Southwest and knew I had to see and experience more. Initially, I did all of my exploring by driving remote and rugged 4×4 roads and trails with my Jeep, but I soon realized that in order to really experience the secrets of this grand landscape I would need to get in better shape and start hiking. So I did just that. I didn’t realize just how much I would enjoy hiking. I still like using my Jeep on the backroads, but these days I mainly use it to reach remote trailheads to begin hiking. Over the years I started backpacking so I could get further into the wilderness than a typical day-hike could get me and it allows me to spend even more time in the backcountry. I also enjoy floating rivers in my inflatable kayak as another way to experience these rugged wild areas.



The main focus of this blog is telling the story of my adventures through photos. I’m not much of a writer (I am trying to get better), so I try to let the photos do most of the talking for me. I originally started out just taking quick snapshots with a point and shoot camera, but over the years have developed a deep passion for nature and landscape photography. I do my best to continually improve my photography and I believe this blog helps me to keep improving by being able to look at my old photos and strive to make better photos on each trip. Over the years I have provided some of these photos to outdoor magazines and publications, and have also sold my photos locally and online. I post my best photos on my Anasazi Photography website as quickly as I can, but I am usually behind at adding new photos since I’m always out on my next new adventure. If you are interested in purchasing or licensing any of the photos on this blog, just contact me to work out the details.

One word of warning: the further back you look into this blog, the worse the photos will be!


OutdoorX4 #1            OutdoorX4 #6

OutdoorX4 Issue #8 Cover            OX4 Cover #26

Jeepers International Magazine #2


Photo Gear

While I’m a firm believer that the photographer behind the camera is the most important part of coming away with a great photo, I am constantly asked what kind of camera gear I use to take these photos, so I’m going to provide a short list here of the gear I currently use. Since I take this photography hobby very seriously, I try to buy the best gear available for my use.


Gear list last updated: July 9, 2021


Rock Art and Ancient Ruins Location Policy

If you’ve read many of my trip reports on this site, you may have noticed that I enjoy finding and photographing ancient ruins and rock art sites on the Colorado Plateau. While these trip reports might give you enough information to figure out the general area these sites are located in, I sometimes purposely leave out specific location information for sites that are not already publicly known in order to help protect them. Please do not bother asking for the locations of these sites in the comments section or through the contact form because I will not answer. It’s nothing personal, I just do not feel comfortable sharing this specific information with strangers over the internet.


Favorite Trip Reports

I’ll end this post with links to a few of my favorite trip reports that I’ve posted to this blog over the years. If you are new to the site, the following posts might be a good place to get started. Enjoy!


Bring Me The Mojave


Sandstone & Sand Hills: The Paria Plateau


Horsin’ Around: The Return to Horse Canyon


Labyrinth Canyon: Ruby Ranch to Mineral Bottom


Top of Utah: Kings Peak via Henrys Fork


Muddy Creek Country


Grand Gulch: Bullet Canyon to The Government Trail


The Great American Eclipse in The Wind Rivers


The Serpent of The Sangres


Rambling Around Robber’s Roost


Jones Hole


Little Grand Canyon


White Sands National Monument


Thanksgiving in the Bisti Badlands


Canby Mountain & The La Plata Mountains


Uncompahgre Peak II


Lone Eagle Cirque


Mount Tukuhnikivatz


Big Blue Creek


The Dragon’s Back


President’s Day Weekend on Cedar Mesa


Wave Winter Wonderland


Fall Colors in the Elk Mountains


Maze Memorial Weekend



  1. Harry Schmeichel
    Harry Schmeichel January 7, 2015

    Randy, I am impressed by your photos especially since I have been to most the places that you visited. Obviously you have good camera equipment but also a good eye for right lighting conditions. My own pictures were taken with a simple point and shoot camera, the Canon S100. By the way, I’m from Chicago like you. I left Chicago in 1967 after college and now live in California. Keep on hiking! Harry

    • Randy Langstraat
      Randy Langstraat January 7, 2015

      Thanks Harry, I appreciate the comment! I have a Canon S110 for when I don’t feel like carrying my larger DSLR, but I haven’t used it recently. The S100/S110 are very good point & shoot cameras!

  2. susan clark
    susan clark March 8, 2016

    enjoy your pics!
    just moved from front range to ridgway so looking to get out and explore more as a local!
    let me know if you’re up this way and perhaps can explore together

  3. Jim Hirschinger & Mike Capelle
    Jim Hirschinger & Mike Capelle May 16, 2022

    Glad to find your blog! Heard about it on a Ruby/Horsethief raft trip last week. We’re in Fruita, and will definitely be digging through your articles for new outdoor adventure ideas in this part of the country.

  4. nelson
    nelson June 5, 2024

    Hi Randy. I’m hoping to kayak on the gunnison from pleasure park to westwater ranger station. I saw your blog and thought you might have info on redlands power diversion. I heard it’s a portage on private land? Any info you have from your trip would be great! Thanks, Nelson

    • Randy Langstraat
      Randy Langstraat June 5, 2024

      The portage is actually on a strip of BLM land right next to the dam (river right) and it follows a road. It should be pretty easy with a kayak.

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