Mike Coronella

Mike Coronella loves the outdoors and keeping things unpredictable. He was the 2010 Grand County Search and Rescue Member of the Year, he’s been paid to taste fine wine and enjoys photography. He currently owns and operates Deep Desert Expeditions, a custom back-country guide service.

1) What initially brought you to Moab?

I moved to Moab to avoid any more Salt Lake inversions after getting hit head-on by a UDOT snowplow in Big Cottonwood Canyon. I came to work for a defunct environmental group.

2) What do you love most about living in Moab?

Everything surrounding Moab – the beautiful open public lands and all the opportunities they present.

3) What do you dislike about living in Moab?

The isolation and distance from friends and family.

4) What is your occupation?

I own and operate a custom back-country guide service called Deep Desert Expeditions. I’m also a member of Grand County Search and Rescue.

5) If you could have any job in the world, what would you most like to do? Photographer for a heli-ski outfit. (I did that once!)

6) Describe a typical day in your life.

Typical? No such thing… just as I like it, but it might involve the dogs and the desert, some emails and phone calls, and clients. Then I usually cook dinner for the family.

7) Some people have bumper stickers on their car that reads: I’d Rather be Sailing. What would your bumper sticker read?

I’d Rather Be Skiing!

8) Tell us one thing people don’t usually know about you.

I was once employed for my expertise in fine wines and have played with wines that cost thousands of dollars for a single bottle.

9) In high school, you would have been considered the person most likely to…

Be found outside.

10) What is your favorite Moab activity?

Hiking with my wife and dogs on a cool and sunny day.

11) Tell us your favorite non-Moab place to visit.

A warm ocean-side beach. On a quiet island somewhere…anywhere.

12) What do you consider your greatest achievement in life?

I’ve been proud of many things over the course of the last five decades, from creating a long-distance backpacking trail (the Hayduke Trail), to receiving an award for “Member of the Year” with GCSAR, to walking out of the Maze after a cardiac “adventure”, and my 87-thousand-penny mosaic floor. But the greatest? Hmmmm…..it’s got to be my step-daughter proclaiming me to be her “hero!”

13) If you were President, what’s the first thing you’d do to make life better in America? I’d give We, the People, our voice back by changing the electoral process: tax breaks for voting and penalties for not voting; only constituents can contribute to a campaign and only then in limited amounts.

14) What superhero power would you most like to have?

I want to fly.

15) If you could be an animal, what would it be? Why?

A raven – they’re smart, they’re mischievous, they play, they’re the top of their food chain – and they can fly.

16) What is your all time favorite movie?

The Lord of the Ring series.

17) And, your all time favorite book?

Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey

18) If you were stranded on a desert island, which three CDs would you want to have with you?

Today’s choices would be the Rolling Stones’ “Exile on Main Street,” Neil Young’s “Decade,” and Pink Floyd’s “Animals.”

19) If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be? Why?

Major John Wesley Powell – I want to hear his stories of adventure and exploration.

20) What is your life philosophy?

Chase your dreams – you are the only one who can.