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Third Flats Road & Art Cook’s View

After Work Adventures | Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Just like last week, I headed over to the Third Flats area after work this afternoon so I could hike a new trail to a highpoint on Horse Mesa, and also just like last week, I ended up changing those plans because of threatening storms in the area. After leaving work and driving up Little Park Road into the Bangs Canyon Recreation Area, I drove down the Third Flats Road all the way to the Gunnison River near the mouth of Billings Canyon and was hoping to hike up to the top of Horse Point from there. However, there were rainstorms in the area and the final section of the road down to the Gunnison River was cut through clay and I didn’t want to chance getting stuck down there if it rained, so I drove back up the road a little ways and hiked the Art Cook’s View Trail instead. I’ll have to come back for Horse Point another time.

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Cedar Mesa Chronicles: Chapter 12

Friday – Sunday, May 10-12 & 17-19, 2024

After leaving the UGIC Conference on Friday afternoon I was originally planning to spend the rest of the weekend exploring the nearby Book Cliffs and Tavaputs Plateau, but with all the rain and snow the area had received this week, and with even more predicted over the next couple of days, I figured that was probably not a great place to be right now. Although I did have backup plans for the San Rafael Swell in case of bad weather, after saying goodbye to Moab on Thursday I was feeling the need to get out into a landscape that I have a more personal connection with and feel at home in so I could grieve alone, so I decided to head down to Cedar Mesa, even if it meant a longer drive out of the way. Since I was leaving from Price, this meant I could avoid the traffic in Moab and drive to Cedar Mesa through Hanksville, which is a route I don’t drive very often since it usually doesn’t make much sense for me to go that way. After stopping for an early dinner in Hanksville, I followed North Wash and White Canyon to Cedar Mesa and went straight to the Todie Canyon Trailhead so I could walk the rim at sunset.

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Third Flats: Saddle Up & Pony Tail to Horse Mesa

After Work Adventures | Tuesday & Wednesday, May 14 & 15, 2024

On Tuesday afternoon I left work with the intention of hiking a pair of trails in the Third Flats area to the highpoint of Horse Mesa. Although there were storms in the area, it seemed like they were going to miss the Grand Valley so I didn’t worry too much about them at the time. I drove up Little Park Road into the Bangs Canyon Recreation Area and then followed the Billings Canyon Road to the start of the Saddle Up Trail and started hiking. However, as soon as I made it a short distance up the trail the storm I wasn’t initially worried about moved into the area with strong gusts of wind and rain, so after looking at the weather radar map again I decided it would be best to turn around and come back the following day. Normally, a little rain wouldn’t scare me off from a hike, but I had driven across a lot of clay areas on the road to reach the trailhead and was a little worried about how slick those sections could get if they got wet.

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The Carbon Corridor: A Few Evenings Around Price

Monday – Thursday, May 6-9, 2024

After spending the weekend in Salt Lake City with Diane, we returned home for a normal day of work on Monday and then I drove back up to Price afterwards since I would be spending the rest of the week attending the annual Utah Geographic Information Council (UGIC) Conference, which was being held in the Carbon Corridor this year. Of course, during my drive to Price I took a detour off of the highway into the very northern reaches of the San Rafael Swell so I could go on a short hike and a scenic drive before continuing on to my hotel for the night. There had been a consistent and strong cold wind blowing all day which made the hiking a bit chilly this evening and it offered a preview of what the weather would have in store for the remainder of the week!

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Jurassic National Monument

Cleveland – Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry | Friday, May 3, 2024

This weekend Diane and I headed up to Salt Lake City so we could attend a pair of concerts put on by Imminence & The Amity Affliction, which are a couple of our favorite bands that we’ve been looking forward to seeing. Of course, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get in a little hiking along the way to break up the drive to the big city, so we took a detour off the highway to spend a couple hours visiting the Cleveland – Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry at Jurassic National Monument, which is well known for containing the densest concentration of Jurassic dinosaur fossils ever found. Jurassic National Monument is a relatively new designation as it officially came into existence back in 2019 with the signing of the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, which also created a number of Wilderness Areas around the San Rafael Swell. I’ve been meaning to make my way over to this area for a long time, so I was glad to have finally made it!

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