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Year: 2014

Arch Slough Snowshoe

Saturday, December 20, 2014

After being lazy last weekend, Diane and I decided to drive up onto the Grand Mesa this morning so we could get in our first snowshoeing trip of the season. We wanted to go somewhere new and away from the crowds, so we parked near the Visitor Center and took the trail to Arch Slough Reservoir. It was certainly a good trail to get away from the crowds since no one had been on it yet this season. That meant we had the privilege of breaking trail through about three feet of fresh powder the whole way. It was a good test for my new snowshoes and I even got to try out the extension tails. Even with the additional length from the tails we sunk in the powder pretty deep. It was definitely a good workout and very tiring. Diane and I took turns breaking trail and it was a lot easier for the second person. After reaching the reservoir we returned to the trailhead the same way so we wouldn’t have to break even more new trail. The hike was a lot easier on the way back!

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Toms Canyon to the Little Dolores

Saturday, December 6, 2014

In a recent conversation with a Facebook friend, he mentioned to me that there might be some rock art located along the Little Dolores River between two parcels of private property. After doing some research on the property boundaries and finding that access would probably be possible by hiking down Toms Canyon, I mapped a possible route on Google Earth that avoided all private property and stayed on BLM land to the area. The only concern I had left was finding an access point down into Toms Canyon from the rim. I had found a spot on Google Earth that looked good, but would not know for sure until I was there and checked it out for myself. On Saturday morning I decided to head up and give this hike a shot. After stopping at the Visitor Center in the Colorado National Monument to pick up a calendar that features one of my photos, I continued up through Glade Park to the Little Dolores Road and took it almost to it’s end at the private property. I turned off on a side road that lead to a campsite and started hiking from there. First, I had to climb to a short pass on a faint trail that gave me a nice view down into Toms Canyon. The faint trail I followed up to the pass pretty much ended there and I had to bushwhack through the steep and rocky wash on the way down into Toms Canyon. There was one rocky ledge that I thought was going to stop me and prevent me from going further, but after a little searching I managed to find a way down. It turns out that the route I had planned in Google Earth worked out perfectly. Once I was down in Toms Canyon the hiking was much easier and I followed some well-used cow trails.

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Cedar Mesa for Thanksgiving

Thursday – Sunday, November 27-30, 2014

For Thanksgiving this year, Diane and I decided to spend a nice relaxing weekend on Cedar Mesa and we really lucked out with nice weather all weekend. The high temperatures were in the upper 50’s during the day and low temperatures only dropped into the mid-30’s at night. We had camped in colder temperatures in the mountains during the summer! The campground at Natural Bridges National Monument made a perfect base-camp for us, which also happened to be free during the winter months and was a nice surprise. Diane had prepared a nice Thanksgiving dinner that we ate next to the campfire on Thursday night. The rest of the weekend we hiked in search of ruins and rock art. We ended up visiting many ruins that I had been to a long time ago and that Diane had never been to before, which allowed me to try and get some better photos of them. We explored a few new areas, too. Enjoy the photos from our weekend!

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Sieber Canyon

Saturday, November 22, 2014

I’ve known about petroglyphs hidden in Sieber Canyon for quite a few years now, but have always seemed to put off a trip in search of them, instead choosing to travel elsewhere throughout the Southwest each weekend. That seems to be the way it works with me- always wanting to travel somewhere new away from home! A few years back I even found the route down into the canyon but I didn’t have enough time go down that day. Earlier this year I tried to hike into the canyon on Easter, but I was turned around by a closed road and had to cancel those plans. Diane and I were finally able to hike into Sieber Canyon this morning and found the petroglyphs we were looking for. It was a beautiful day for hiking and we managed to get back out of the canyon before a winter storm moved through the area in the afternoon. There were some nice clouds in the sky during the morning hours and it didn’t get completely overcast until after we found the main petroglyph panel. The main panel was very cool and contains some of the best petroglyphs I have visited this close to home. Unfortunately, some of the best figures in this panel have been shot up with bullet holes.

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