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Year: 2024

The Painted Desert: Land of Light and Shadow

Homolovi State Park & Petrified Forest National Park
Saturday – Monday, January 13-15, 2024

For about a year now, Diane and I have been making pretty solid plans to spend most of the upcoming week in Grand Canyon National Park. Since we would be passing right through the Painted Desert on our way there, we were also looking forward to spending a couple of days in the Petrified Forest along the way. We certainly could never have predicted that after our first visit to Petrified Forest National Park in 2020 we would fall in love with exploring this amazing place and have now returned each year for the past five years. With so many places still left to explore in the park, we are hoping to keep the trend going well into the future!

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Lower Palisade Plunge & Palisade Rim Trails

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Well, you could say that 2024 has not started off on the right foot for me! On New Year’s Day I was planning on hiking in the Colorado National Monument to start off the new year right, but when I went to leave early in the morning my Jeep wouldn’t start. I was pretty positive that it wasn’t the battery and could hear that the engine was making a loud knocking sound as it was trying to turn over, so my heart sank as I realized there was most likely something wrong internally to the engine. So much for my first hike of the year! Later in the day when it warmed up a bit outside I made sure the battery was good and that there wasn’t something simple wrong, and then I had my Jeep towed over to the dealership so it could be looked at. Luckily, my Jeep is still just barely covered under the Powertrain Warranty. Anyway, since my Jeep is still waiting to be diagnosed I was stuck at home this weekend, but was able to borrow Diane’s car on Saturday morning so I could at least go on a local hike. I was hoping to get in a hike with some elevation gain as training for a longer upcoming hike later this month, so I decided to give the lower Palisade Plunge Trail a try. The last time I had hiked the nearby Palisade Rim Trail the Plunge Trail didn’t even exist, so this would be all new terrain for me.

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