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River Flowing from the Sunrise: The San Juan

Friday – Monday, May 10-13, 2019

Over the years I have floated the San Juan River between Sand Island and Mexican Hat a couple of times with a small group of friends and we almost always have had a great time on this stretch of the river. I say ‘almost always‘ because the temperature was way too hot out during our last trip in 2017 and the water was moving very fast which turned out to be a bad combination for us. We ended up cutting that trip a day short and heading home early. After taking last year off for a Labyrinth Canyon trip, we decided to get a permit for the San Juan again this year to make up for that last trip. This year I was hoping for much better weather since we were going in May again, but I was still a little worried when we drove down to Bluff on Friday afternoon through rain storms and cold temperatures even though the forecast for the rest of the weekend was looking good. I certainly had my fingers crossed and hoped that the rainbow I saw as we drove over White Mesa was a good sign! And for anyone wondering, River Flowing from the Sunrise is a translation of the Ute name for the San Juan River, and I think it’s a pretty fitting one.

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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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Bears Ears Lost

Thursday – Sunday, March 15-18, 2018

This weekend I headed down to Cedar Mesa and the Bears Ears area to meet up with my friend Alan for a weekend of hiking. I drove down a little early so I could pick up my Annual Cedar Mesa Hiking Pass from the Kane Gulch Ranger Station and then did a little hiking and exploring on my own before I met up with Alan. Sometimes you just need to get out and wander through a canyon by yourself! Last year all of the area we explored would have been located within Bears Ears National Monument, but after last month I’m pretty sure that everywhere we went is now outside of the new boundaries. Although, I’m not exactly sure what the status of those changes are and if they are official or not? The weather on Friday and Saturday was very nice, but I ended up having to cut my trip a day short since it started to snow and rain on Sunday morning. We definitely needed the precipitation and I had already had a few nice hikes, so it wasn’t too disappointing. Here are some photos from the weekend.

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Ruins of Cedar Mesa

President’s Day Weekend | Saturday – Monday, February 17 – 19, 2018

This year for President’s Day Weekend Diane and I decided to head back down to Cedar Mesa for our first visit to Bears Ears National Monument of the year. We ended up spending most of the weekend exploring canyons carved into Cedar Mesa and visiting ruins that I hadn’t been to in a number of years, plus a few new ones. We also made a detour over to Montezuma Canyon on Monday morning before a strong winter storm moved into the area and chased us back home in the early afternoon.

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Thanksgiving In The Bears Ears

Thanksgiving Weekend | Thursday – Sunday, November 23-26, 2017

Except for last year, it has been kind of a tradition for Diane and I to spend the long Thanksgiving Weekend exploring southern Utah around Cedar Mesa, Comb Ridge and Montezuma Canyon. This year was our first Thanksgiving in the area since it was officially designated as Bears Ears National Monument late last year. Of course, at this point it’s not certain how much longer this Monument will be around in its current form…

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