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Tag: wilderness

Bring Me The Mojave

President’s Day Weekend | Friday – Monday, February 15-18, 2019

The plans for this extended weekend trip began way back in August of last year when I purchased tickets to see Bring Me The Horizon at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Bring Me The Horizon is one of our favorite bands and we were looking forward to seeing them again since the last time we saw them was in 2017, also in Las Vegas. The concert was on Saturday evening and Monday was President’s Day, so we took Friday off from work to have a four-day weekend that we could spend exploring new parts of the Mojave Desert between St. George and Las Vegas. The plan was to spend some time around southwestern Utah and Gold Butte National Monument on our way to Las Vegas and then spend the day after the concert hiking in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

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Sandstone & Sand Hills: The Paria Plateau

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Thursday – Sunday, January 24-27

It’s been almost a full year since the last time I was out exploring and photographing the wonderful sandstone of the Paria Plateau and I was really itching to get back out there again soon. A few months ago I secured a permit to Coyote Buttes South for this Friday and then planned to spend the rest of the weekend exploring other areas of the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument outside of the Coyote Buttes permit zones. Unfortunately, after I had already picked the weekend and got the permit I found out that the annual Ouray Ice Festival was scheduled for this same weekend, so I guess I was going to miss it this year. Diane was supposed to be in Las Vegas with a friend this weekend, which is why I originally chose it, but when her plans fell through there were no longer any permits available so I would be on my own this trip.

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Reef Madness: Cave Canyon & Arch Tower

The San Rafael Reef
Saturday, January 12, 2019

Since Diane took an extra shift at work today I decided to drive over into Utah so I could do a little hiking on the northern San Rafael Reef since I hadn’t been back out that way since last January. I just hoped I wouldn’t lose a wheel on my Jeep this time since I’d be driving down that same road again! When I woke up this morning there was a fresh layer of snow on the ground at my house, so I checked the weather forecast and it looked like the snow ended near the state line, so I continued on with my plans for the day. After leaving home I drove through some very dense fog on I-70 from Grand Junction all the way to the Westwater exit and then through more patchy fog until the Cisco exit. This slowed down the drive considerably, so it’s probably a good thing I wasn’t in a hurry to get anywhere this morning. After passing the Cisco exit it was clear blue skies as far as I could see and it would stay that way for the rest of the day.

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Behind The Rocks

Christmas Weekend | Saturday & Sunday, December 22-23, 2018

After going on a day hike into the backcountry of Arches National Park last Saturday by myself, Diane and I planned a last minute trip to spend this weekend together around Moab. We drove over to Moab on Saturday morning and then went out arch-hunting, hiking, four-wheeling and just generally exploring the Behind The Rocks area west of Spanish Valley for the entire weekend. On Saturday I wanted to revisit a few nice arches that I had not seen since I drove through Pritchett Canyon way back in 2006, plus I wanted to find a few new ones. On Sunday we hiked up Pritchett Canyon from the bottom so we could visit Halls Bridge Arch since we were not able to get down to it from above the day before. The weather on Saturday was very nice with clear blue skies, plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the lower 50’s, while Sunday morning was mostly overcast during most of our hike and a bit colder, too.

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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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