Last fall, WV first-timer Vicki Larson spent a week backpacking in southern Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Having heard of our program through a friend, Vicki decided it was time to “give something back” by joining our group intent on clearing the Escalante River of invasive Russian olive trees. Little did we know that in “real life” Vicki is Lifestyle Editor at the Marin Independent Journal. She wrote this wonderful testimonial account of her outstanding week along a desert river filled with natural wonder — springs seeping from hanging gardens, natural bridges and arches, flash floods and 12 new friends!