Category: Blog

February 2, 2016

Trip Report: Educational Hike to the Cosmic Ashtray

Recently, I tagged along with the Turn-About boys and a few of the staff members to hike to one of Escalante’s strangest treasures: the Cosmic Ashtray. The formation resembles a volcano at the top of a sandstone mountain, a rock island resting in the center of its “crater.” In winter, it is quite a spectacular scene. The red and yellow sandstone mixes with the white of snow, and the whole landscape looks like a giant Cold Stone tabletop filled with ice cream and crushed candy. The winter makes Escalante seem to glow.

At the trailhead, we took a closer look at the snow, and we were amazed to see huge ice crystals all over the ground, with some of the shards exceeding the width of a …

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January 14, 2015

Using S.M.A.R.T. Goals to Overcome Addiction

As I mentioned in my previous post, the New Year is a great time to look at setting goals to overcome addiction. I suggested that one way to work on overcoming addiction is to replace that addiction with other activities. I’m not a clinical psychologist or expert on behavioral science, but in my experience, it can be helpful to evaluate these three aspects of your life when making goals: social, physical, and mental/emotional.

By looking at each of these areas, you can evaluate what you must do to combat the multi-faceted burden caused by your addiction.

When setting goals in those three areas, it is important to not place the stakes too high or think too broadly. Your goal doesn’t necessarily have to be “I’m going to …

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What’s Your Resolution? Three Ways to Overcome Addiction and Bad Habits In 2015

New Year’s Day is my favorite holiday. It is the most self-reflective of the holidays and gives me a chance to look back on the previous year and evaluate my life. Each year, I can see clearly where I went wrong and make the necessary corrections.

The New Year can be an excellent time to set goals for overcoming addiction. I am no expert in psychology or behavioral science, but I’ve had my fair share of bad habits and addictive indulgences. Whether your addiction is drugs, alcohol, codependency, video games, or simply a severe reliance on your smart phone, there are many ways you can start slaying the beast that has taken over your life.

I’d like to share a few tips I’ve learned over the years.

For …

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November 10, 2014

5 Amazing Wilderness Locations Surrounding Turn-About Ranch

Wilderness travel is a huge part of the experience at Turn-About Ranch and is an integral part of treatment. Sometimes a retreat into the landscape is all it takes to overcome a strong emotion like anger or sadness. Sometimes healing is about simply getting away from the everyday buzz and connectedness of daily life.

Luckily, our program operates within the 2.3 million acre Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monument, a perfect place for wilderness therapy.

Here are five amazing places our teens may visit during their stay at Turn-About Ranch.

Covered Wagon Arch

Just a mile or so from Cedar Wash road, students walk a dry river bed to an Arch and a cave, where even on the hottest summer days, the shade provides a remedy to the heat.

Spooky Gulch

Carved …

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September 26, 2014

Autumn Colors: A Time to Remenisce & Recommit

Fall is my favorite season. The weather cools. The aspen leaves are reddening in the mountains. Farmers are harvesting their crops. Hunters are scoping out the deer for the hunt.

There’s a general buzz of excitement about the air that I can’t quite explain. But I love it.

Last weekend, I picked and canned my tomatoes. Over the summer, I had spent a lot of work watering, weeding, and caring for those plants, so it was rewarding to finally see it pay off.

Less visible than tomatoes, there’s a harvest that also takes place in one’s self. For example, a person can “harvest” things like integrity, patience, and love through hard work and community. For teens at Turn-About Ranch, their hard work transforms them into new beings—they …

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September 9, 2014

The Million Acre School: Finding Healing Within the Landscape

Some of the wilderness surrounding Turn-About Ranch.

Throughout history, many philosophers, explorers, scientists, and even spiritual leaders have shared one common trait—for millennia, they have immersed themselves in nature to discover the unknown.

They saw the unknown as the door to education.

From the Vikings, who sailed the Atlantic seas to explore new lands, to today’s botanists, who study the flora and fauna of the desert, people tend to look toward the land to learn something new. Today, we can even look at the land and its metallic ores which we have mined and transformed into amazing educational technologies.

But one discovery that seems to be underestimated by society is the individual potential for self-discovery. Farmers and ranchers have worked the land for centuries and have …

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Turn-About Ranch

280 N 300 E.
Escalante, UT 84726
(800) 842-1165