The Best Backpacking and Dog Trip You’ve Ever Seen

A beautiful look at two awesome souls in the most sublime landscape imaginable.


Ace Kvale cemented his legend in the 1980s, when he and fellow photographer Marko Shapiro documented the exploding ski bum scene in and around Verbier, Switzerland, helping jump-start a massive exodus of American rippers to the Alps. He followed that amazing first act by coming back to the Southwest in the late 1990s, where he’s spent much of the last couple decades exploring the labyrinth of canyons, most recently with his dog, Genghis, who is also known by his nom du blog, Desert Dawg.

Ace recently turned 60, and he celebrated the moment with a major undertaking: a 400-mile, 60-day backpacking loop beginning and ending at his house in rural Utah, accompanied by Genghis and a number of friends, including Brendan Leonard and Forest Woodward, who pieced together this wonderful look at man and dog.

Regular readers of AJ will recognize all of these names. Brendan, of course, is a major voice here. Dawg has written a piece, and so has Ace. Forest’s photographic presence is sorely lacking here on AJ (ahem, Forest, are you listening?), but we have an amazing story by him in the second issue of AJ Quarterly.

Okay, watch the film. Then check the links to Ace and Dawg’s stories here.

By Ace
The Joyful Warmth of Twig Stoves
Creating Utah’s Desert Dawg Trail

By Dawg
What’s in Desert Dawg’s Pack?

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Steve Casimiro is the editor of Adventure Journal. Follow him on Instagram at @stevecasimiro.
Showing 2 comments
  • Jay C
    Reply

    I watched this great film the last time AJ featured it and coincidentally I was thinking about it just the other day. This film shows how seemingly simple pleasures in life can be rewarding beyond their, well, simplicity. A wonderful film, even better second time around.

  • Jim Aschmeyer
    Reply

    THis really resonated with me..I have a 1 year old Corgi who has already walked endless miles through the forest, across the streams of north Georgia. Our bond has been cemented in a way unlike any other relationship with a human. ;-). Great story and message.

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