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Author: Randy Langstraat

Rock Art of Canyon del Muerto & Chinle Wash

A Return to Canyon de Chelly National Monument: Back on the Four Corners Circuit
Monday, May 23, 2022

After spending most of Sunday in Mesa Verde National Park it was time to spend some quality time looking at rock art and ruins in Canyon de Chelly National Monument. About six years ago Diane and I had stopped to check out all of the overlooks along the rim of the canyons in the Monument and also hiked down to the White House Ruins, so this time we wanted to get into the canyons for a closer look. That meant we would have to book a tour with a Navajo guide. About a week before the trip I set up a five hour tour with Beauty Way Jeep Tours for 8:00am that would mostly focus on Canyon del Muerto and we were looking forward to finally getting into the canyon!

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Wetherill Mesa at Mesa Verde National Park

Sunday, May 22, 2022 | Alternate Plans: Back on the Four Corners Circuit

While making our original plans to Bandelier National Monument for this week, before they got cancelled, I had hoped that we would be able to stop by the Ute Mountain Tribal Park again on our way down to New Mexico. But even though we had to change those plans and stick around the Four Corners area, I was still hoping we would be able to go on another tour there. I spent the past two months trying to get ahold of someone at the park to schedule a tour, but was unsuccessful in getting anyone to call or email me back to make the arrangements, so I finally gave up on that idea. Instead, I decided that we were long overdue for another visit to Mesa Verde National Park and thought it would be a good idea to spend a full day on Wetherill Mesa since neither of us had been to that part of the park before. Thankfully, I was able to secure tickets to tours of Mug House and Long House in the weeks leading up to our trip, so we were all set for a great day on Wetherill Mesa!

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Bears Ears to Hovenweep and Canyons of the Ancients

Alternate Plans: Back on the Four Corners Circuit | Cedar Mesa Chronicles: Chapter 6
Friday & Saturday, May 20-21, 2022

This upcoming week Diane was going to be out of school and was looking forward to getting away for her Spring Break, so for the past few months I had been planning a week-long trip for us to visit the Jemez Mountains and Bandelier National Monument near Santa Fe. Unfortunately, the large Cerro Pelado Wildfire ended up closing both Bandelier National Monument and the Santa Fe National Forest before our trip, so I was forced to come up with Alternate Plans for the week and decided to return to the Four Corners area. Hopefully we will be able to reschedule a trip to the Jemez Mountains another time in the future since we were both looking forward to it!

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Along the Rim of the Gunnison Gorge

Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area | Sunday, May 8, 2022

After spending yesterday morning on the Gunnison River in the Dominguez – Escalante National Conservation Area, I decided to head out early this morning to get in a couple of short hikes along the rim of the Gunnison Gorge since I’ve wanted to spend more time exploring this area. I left home in the dark and made my way through Delta to Olathe and then headed east into the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area where I stopped to take a short hike up the Eagle Valley Trail just after sunrise to start the day.

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The Gunnison River: Escalante Creek to Bridgeport

Saturday, May 7, 2022 | Average CFS: 2,635

This weekend I was looking to stay local and to get back on the river for the first time this season, so I made plans with my friend Jackson to float a section of the Gunnison River along the northeastern edge of the Uncompahgre Plateau from Escalante Creek to Bridgeport on Saturday morning- assuming the windy weather we’ve been having across the Southwest would cooperate! Although I have floated this section of the Gunnison River once before back in 2009, that time I tagged along with a friend in his raft and I really don’t remember much about the trip, so I was looking forward to getting back with my own inflatable kayak this time. In order to try to beat the wind, Jackson and his son Ken met me at my house early in the morning and transferred their gear into my Jeep. We then dropped Jackson’s car off at Bridgeport and headed over to the boat ramp at Escalante Creek. After inflating and rigging our kayaks, we were on the water shortly before 8:30am.

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