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Kodels Canyon

Rediscovering the Colorado National Monument #3
Sunday, January 13, 2019

After spending Saturday exploring the San Rafael Reef by myself, Diane and I went on a short hike at the western edge of the Colorado National Monument on Sunday afternoon into Kodels Canyon. It has been a few years since I last hiked into Kodels Canyon and Diane had never been here before, so we were looking forward to checking it out. Our hike started on the well-used and snow-packed trails of the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area, but as soon as we entered the Monument there had not been as much traffic and we were breaking trail through the snow in some places.

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Snow Day at The Monument

Rediscovering the Colorado National Monument #2
Sunday, January 6, 2019

This weekend Diane and I stayed home and took it easy, but we did take some time on Sunday afternoon to visit the west side of the Colorado National Monument for a couple of hours during a snowstorm. We drove a snow-packed Rim Rock Drive to its closure gate at the Independence Monument Viewpoint and stopped to take a few photos along the way. We only saw a handful of other vehicles up there braving the winter road conditions. I was hoping to hike a few of the shorter trails along the rim of Wedding Canyon near the Visitor Center in the snow, but once we got up into the Monument we found that the clouds were low and there was no view into the canyons. I didn’t want to hike those trails with no views, so we decided to skip them and only hiked the Alcove Nature Trail this time. I think the last time I hiked this short trail was almost ten years ago, so it was nice to finally revisit it.

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Wedding Canyon Loop 2019

Rediscovering the Colorado National Monument #1
New Year’s Day | Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year! This year Diane and I woke up early on New Year’s Day and headed over to the Colorado National Monument so we could hike the Wedding Canyon Loop at sunrise like we do almost every year. We arrived shortly before sunrise and were the first vehicle at the Monument Canyon Trailhead. When we started hiking the temperature out was in the single digits and the early morning dawn light was just beginning to illuminate the landscape. There was fresh snow on the trail from a big snowstorm the previous day, but there wasn’t quite as much snow on the ground here as there was at our house. We watched the clouds change color as we made our way to the mouth of Wedding Canyon and then hiked up the canyon to Independence Monument, which is the halfway point of the loop. From there we followed the lower Monument Canyon Trail back down to the trailhead making a complete loop around The Island. As usual, it was a great way to start the new year, even though it was cold out!

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Christmas Eve Clouds

Christmas Eve | Monday, December 24, 2018

When I got out of work early on Christmas Eve it looked like the winter storm that had been around all day was finally starting to clear out, and I thought it might be a good opportunity to photograph a nice sunset. I stopped home quickly to grab my camera and then headed up to the Colorado National Monument to see if I could get a few photos. Unfortunately, there was a thick bank of low clouds hovering right over the Monument and I never got the light that I was hoping for. I waited around for a while hoping the clouds would clear before sunset, but they never did, so I ended up not taking many photos. I’ll share the few photos I did take below.

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Turkey Flats

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

After work on Tuesday, Diane and I loaded up our bikes and headed up to Piñon Mesa above Glade Park so we could go for a ride on the Turkey Flats Trail and beat the heat in the valley. It was 105 degrees down in the Grand Valley when we left home, but when we reached the Fruita Picnic Area to unload our bikes it was a more comfortable 83 degrees out. This evening we were going to combine the Turkey Flats Trail with 16 1/2 Road and the road that goes to Fruita Reservoir #1 to create a five mile loop. It turned out to be a very nice ride and wasn’t too difficult for us who don’t ride our bikes very often. We passed a few deer along the trail and the mosquitoes were out in full force if we stopped for too long, so we made sure to keep moving. There were also plenty of wildflowers blooming along the trail. Here’s a few photos from our weekday ride.

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