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Tag: ancestral puebloan

Hidden in the Shadows of the Bears Ears

Thanksgiving Weekend | Cedar Mesa Chronicles: Chapter 2
Thursday – Sunday, November 26-29, 2020

This year for Thanksgiving we were originally thinking about changing up our typical plans and spending the long holiday weekend in northern New Mexico instead. However, with the pandemic essentially shutting down travel into New Mexico right now we decided it would be best for us to stay in southern Utah and return to Cedar Mesa like we usually do. While we would normally get a hotel room in Blanding for this annual trip, we were not really comfortable staying at a hotel this time around, so we decided to pack up our warmest gear and camp the entire weekend.

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Cedar Mesa Chronicles: Chapter 1

Friday – Sunday, October 23-25, 2020

After spending last weekend on the White Rim in Canyonlands National Park, this weekend we headed a little further south to visit Cedar Mesa for the very first time this year. Usually by now I have spent at least a couple of weekends hiking in the canyons of Cedar Mesa, but with the COVID-19 lockdowns in the spring this was the first opportunity I have had to make it back down here this year. We got a little bit of a later start on Friday than I had planned since Diane got stuck at work, but we left as soon as she got home.

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Meander Canyon: The Colorado River in Canyonlands

Floating from the Potash Boat Ramp to The Loop | Average CFS: 2,660
Thursday – Sunday, September 17-20, 2020

On Thursday morning Diane and I woke up extra early at 3:30am and headed down to Moab where we drove through The Portal on our way to the Potash Boat Ramp and met up with our friends Jackson, Amy and Chris just after sunrise. We were going to be spending the next couple of days on a relaxing float through Meander Canyon on the calm waters of the Colorado River into the heart of Canyonlands National Park. I had such a great time in Labyrinth Canyon two years ago at this same time of the year, so I was really looking forward to another trip similar to that. Although Diane swore that she would never go on another river trip with me after our swift float through Slick Rock Canyon, I managed to talk her into giving it one more try after promising her that this would be all flat water with no rapids! Thankfully, she really enjoyed this trip and I think she will definitely be coming with me on future flat water adventures!

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Dark Canyon Wilderness: Woodenshoe Canyon

Friday – Monday, May 15-18, 2020

This weekend I was supposed to be backpacking with Diane in Canyonlands National Park, but since the park is still closed due to COVID-19 they cancelled my second permit there this spring. At this point I guess that I will just have to try again next year. While looking into alternate plans for the weekend the weather forecast was predicting much warmer temperatures across the Southwest, so I tried to find someplace that was a little higher in elevation where it might be cooler, and after weighing my options I decided it was finally time to check out Woodenshoe Canyon in the Dark Canyon Wilderness. Although I’ve driven around the edges of this wilderness area before, this is one part of the Colorado Plateau that I have ignored for far too long! With the change in plans, Diane decided that she was going to stay home this weekend so I invited my friend Jerry to join me on this four day trip. Unfortunately, this was one of those rare trips where things didn’t quite go as planned and we ended up cutting the trip short and headed home a day early.

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The Malpais: Badlands of New Mexico

El Malpais National Monument & El Morro National Monument
My 40th Birthday Foray into Arizona and New Mexico
Sunday, February 16, 2020

The last day of my 40th Birthday Foray into Arizona and New Mexico had finally arrived and although we technically had one more day left for the trip because of Presidents Day on Monday, we decided that we would rather drive home later this evening and have Monday off to rest and get ready to go back to work on Tuesday than stick around another day. After spending the night in Los Lunas we started driving west on historic Route 66 toward Grants so we could visit The Malpais (an extensive area of rough, barren lava flows) of New Mexico for the first time. We had started this week-long adventure along the old Route 66 at Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona the previous weekend, and now we would be ending it just down the road from there in New Mexico.

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