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Tag: blue mountains

Over the Edge: Island in the Sky

Grand View Point Trails: Murphy Trail Loop, Murphy Point & Gooseberry Trail
Saturday & Sunday, November 2-3, 2019

After finishing up hiking all of the official trails in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park last year I figured that it was time for me to get started working on my remaining trails on the Island in the Sky. While I have already hiked most of the official trails on the top of the mesa, I had not hiked any that descended down to the White Rim, so I wanted to change that this weekend. I figured a good starting point would be to hike a couple of the shorter trails that start from Grand View Point, including the Murphy Trail, Murphy Point Trail and Gooseberry Trail. It’s kind of funny, although the Island in the Sky is the closest district of Canyonlands to me, it’s also the one that I’ve spent the least amount of time in. I think I’m going to make it my goal to finish hiking my remaining trails in this district of Canyonlands within the next year. Let’s see how many I can squeeze in over the winter!

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Jersey Jim Fire Lookout Tower

Overlooking the Four Corners | Sunday – Monday, July 21-22, 2019

After spending Saturday hiking to the summit of Centennial Peak and Sunday morning attempting to hike to the top of Hesperus Mountain it was time for me to head back into Mancos so I could pick up the keys to the Jersey Jim Fire Lookout Tower where I would be spending the night. I first laid eyes on the Jersey Jim back in 2010 when I was exploring a few roads near the La Plata Mountains on my way home from a week of adventure through the mountains of Colorado. At the time I knew it was available to rent for a night or two during the summer and I thought to myself that I should plan to do that sometime. It was almost nine years later and ‘sometime’ still had not come because I kept putting off making reservations for the tower each summer until it was too late. But since I have been trying to get to some places this year that I have been putting off for far too long, spending a night at the Jersey Jim was near the top of my list and I was thankfully able to secure a reservation earlier this year, even though it was a frustrating process on the phone filled with busy signals!

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Secrets of Canyonlands

Friday – Sunday, March 22-24, 2019

This past week was an unusual one for me since I spent most of it in Rifle, Colorado attending a training class so I could get a Remote Pilot Certification (FAA Small UAS Rule, Part 107) for work. The funny thing is that I have never touched a drone in my life, and as of Friday morning I am now an FAA certified Drone Pilot! After taking the required test at the Grand Junction Airport on Friday morning and then having lunch with Diane afterwards, I drove into Utah through scattered storms to Moab before continuing on to The Needles for the second weekend in a row. On Sunday morning I was going to be meeting up with my friend Clyde so we could go on a hike together, but until then I was going to be spending Friday evening and all day Saturday revisiting a few rock art sites and searching for new ruins and rock art panels on my own. I would find a couple of secrets along the way…

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End of Trails in The Needles

Big Spring Canyon – Elephant Canyon Loop
Friday – Sunday, November 30 – December 2, 2018

After looking over the official map for the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park earlier this year, I noticed that I had hiked just about every single trail on it, so I figured it would be a good goal to try and finish hiking them all this year. After hiking a few of those remaining trails earlier in the year, I only had a few segments of trails in the Big Spring Canyon area left, so Diane and I headed down to The Needles this weekend so I could finish them up in one big loop on Saturday.

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Thanksgiving Under the Bears Ears

Thanksgiving Weekend | Thursday – Sunday, November 22-25, 2018

This year Diane and I kept our annual tradition of spending the long Thanksgiving weekend searching for ruins and rock art on Cedar Mesa alive. (Not counting that one year we went to New Mexico instead, of course.) Although the mountains of Colorado got a lot of much-needed snow over the holiday weekend, the precipitation mostly missed the Four Corners region and we had very pleasant hiking weather just about every day. The higher elevations of Cedar Mesa and Elk Ridge did receive a little snow on Thursday evening, but it had pretty much all melted off by Friday afternoon. As usual, we found some new sites and revisited some of our favorites, too. It wasn’t planned, but we ended up visiting three different kivas that were all pretty well-preserved and had a great weekend exploring one of my favorite areas in the southwest! Check out all the photos from our Thanksgiving adventure below!

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