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Year: 2020

Rock Art Ranch: Chevelon Canyon

My 40th Birthday Foray into Arizona and New Mexico
Monday, February 10, 2020

After spending a nice weekend exploring Petrified Forest National Park for the first time, it was time to move on to our next destination of the trip. Since I have wanted to visit the petroglyphs of the Rock Art Ranch in Chevelon Canyon for many years and we were already going to be nearby in Holbrook, I had called a few weeks prior to schedule a tour for Monday morning. While checking the weather forecast on Sunday evening it looked like there was a storm system moving through the area that could interrupt these plans. When we woke up on Monday morning it was already windy and cold out along with sleet, rain and snow falling. However, looking at the updated weather forecast it looked like we might luck out as the precipitation was supposed to stop before our tour at 10:00am. After breakfast and loading up our vehicle it was still raining out as we made our way over to the ranch, but thankfully it did stop during our drive out there, so the timing was perfect!

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The Painted Desert: Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Wood, Potsherds & Petroglyphs
My 40th Birthday Foray into Arizona and New Mexico
Friday – Sunday, February 7-9, 2020

This year I turn 40, so I decided to take the week of my birthday off from work so I could spend it hiking and backpacking with Diane in Arizona and New Mexico where it would hopefully be a little warmer and sunnier than it has been in Grand Junction this winter. I have been planning this trip for months and was originally going to start the trip off with a tour of the rock art and ruins in Canyon de Chelly National Monument, but unfortunately those plans fell apart shortly before the trip started, so instead we ended up spending the entire first weekend of the trip exploring Petrified Forest National Park since I knew there would be plenty to do there to keep us busy.

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White Crack Trail to The Confluence

Friday – Sunday, January 31 – February 2, 2020

After I finished hiking all of the official trails within the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park late last year, it was time for me to turn my attention to other parts of the backcountry that I still wanted to explore in this amazing park. While I’ve seen the confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers from both The Needles and The Maze before, I felt that it was finally time for me to see it from the Island in the Sky!

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The Needles Overlook & Slickrock Bike Trail

Saturday & Sunday, January 25-26, 2020

After spending a couple hours at the Ouray Ice Festival in the morning it was time to head west into Utah so I could get some hiking in the desert in this weekend. From Ridgway I crossed the Dallas Divide and followed the San Miguel River to Norwood, then crossed a couple large valleys and the Dolores River on my way to Dove Creek and finally stopped in Monticello for an early dinner. From there I was originally planning on heading into The Needles for the evening and was thinking about hiking the short Slickrock or Pothole Point trails to hopefully catch a nice sunset. However, as I was driving down Highway 211 I quickly decided I didn’t feel like driving all that way for a short hike and turned around at Photograph Gap. Instead, I thought it would be nice to spend the evening at the Needles Overlook in the Canyon Rims Recreation Area since it’s been a long time since I visited that viewpoint at the edge of Hatch Point. This turned out to be an excellent last minute change of plans!

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Celebrating 25 Years: Ouray Ice Festival 2020

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Last year I wasn’t able to make it to the annual Ouray Ice Festival since I was busy exploring the Paria Plateau that weekend instead, but this year I made sure to spend a few hours at the festival on Saturday morning since it’s the 25th Anniversary of the event! I left home early on Saturday morning, grabbed a quick breakfast on my way out of town and arrived at the Ouray Ice Park just in time to watch the beginning of the Elite Mixed Climbing Competition. After watching a few of the ice climbers on the competition route from the bridge, I wandered around the vendor booths and then watched and photographed other climbers on the ice in the Uncompahgre Gorge. I left in the early afternoon and grabbed a Mocha Shake from Mouse’s before heading west into Utah for the remainder of the weekend.

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