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She's black, nursing and hiking in Utah

Published May 9, 2012 9:21 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Rarely has a blog post about hiking packed in so much.

A. Breeze Harper wrote about her trip to Utah and hike through Bryce Canyon National Park. She used it to discuss nursing her daughter, how few blacks visit the national parks, the beauty of Utah and how nature can unite.

The whole post, written on OutdoorAfro.com, is worth your time to read. Harper, a doctoral degree candidate at University of California-Davis, also made the embedded video.

Here are some excerpts from the blog post.

Peek a Boo Trail hike is 7 miles. Doesn't seem like a lot. But add a 20lb baby strapped to your back while carrying 50oz of water in each hand, while going all the way down the canyon then walking all the way back up and you've got yourself quite an amazing feat. Oh, and add to that that 20lb baby sucking on you, extracting breast milk 3 hours out of that 6.5 hours it takes to complete that 7 miles because it's so hot and arid, she is thirsty all the time....

I loved every minute of watching the divine that is Bryce Canyon. I loved the burning of my butt and legs as I went up and down difficult parts of the trail. I loved how my baby girl , when she wasn't nursing or sleeping, giggled with joy and reached out to touch the rocks, the trees, and my face. At 9 months old, she knew that Bryce Canyon is a very special place.

Harper's complaint that there aren't enough black visitors to the national parks has been made before. The National Park Service has made outreach efforts, but as Harper can attest, there remain few blacks in the parks.

— Nate Carlisle

Twitter: @UtahHikes