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Month: February 2020

Grand Canyon of the Sonoran Desert: Aravaipa Canyon

Our First Time Backpacking Among the Saguaros
My 40th Birthday Foray into Arizona and New Mexico
Tuesday – Wednesday, February 11-12, 2020

Today was the part of the trip that I was looking forward to the most since I first started making these plans last year. I have wanted to hike through the perennial waters of Aravaipa Canyon, sometimes referred to as the Grand Canyon of the Sonoran Desert, for a long time and this experience was one of the main reasons I had planned this birthday trip into southeast Arizona in the first place. Back in November I secured an overnight permit for my 40th birthday when they first became available for the date, and chose to start from the more popular West Trailhead since I knew we would most likely be driving Diane’s Edge for the better fuel mileage and comfort on this road trip. For those not familiar, anyone who hikes into the Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness requires a permit from the BLM in order to help preserve the wilderness experience of the area. A total of 50 people are allowed per day, from which 20 may enter from the East Trailhead and 30 may enter from the West Trailhead. This can be a popular hike during the busy season, but the middle of February is probably the lowest use season because of the colder water temperatures of the creek. This sounded like the perfect time of the year for us to hike among the saguaros into Aravaipa Canyon!

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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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