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Tag: dusk

The Jackson Guard Station at Silver Jack Reservoir

New Years Weekend | Saturday & Sunday, December 30-31, 2023

For the final weekend of 2023 Diane and I headed over to the northern end of the San Juan Mountains near the edge of the Uncompahgre Wilderness so we could snowshoe the road along the Cimarron River and spend a night at the Jackson Guard Station, which is located near the popular Silver Jack Reservoir. This historic cabin was originally used as a Forest Service Guard Station and housed Forest Service work crews. We left home on Saturday morning, drove south to Montrose then east over the Cerro Summit and soon arrived at the trailhead where we started hiking up the snow-covered road. Although we were planning for this to be a snowshoe trip, there really wasn’t very much snow on the ground yet and there were snowmobile tracks on the road to follow, so we ended up not needing to use our snowshoes for the hike.

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Christmas in Arches 2023

Moab Winter Weekend | Saturday – Monday, December 23-25, 2023

After spending last weekend exploring the sandstone fins on the east side of the Colorado River in the Sand Flats Recreation Area, it was time for me to head over to Arches National Park for the extended Christmas weekend. While I usually only spend Christmas Day in Arches and then bounce around the desert canyons surrounding Moab for the rest of the holiday weekend, this year I wanted to spend the entire three days within the park. Unfortunately, Diane would not be joining me this year since she was scheduled to work all weekend and on the holiday, so I would be on my own. I left home early on Saturday morning and drove straight to Arches National Park through a consistent rain the entire way with some fog in the lower lying areas.

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Moab Meanderings: Sand Flats Recreation Area

Saturday & Sunday, December 16-17, 2023

Since the winter season has arrived in Moab, I decided to return to the Sand Flats Recreation Area this weekend so I could finish hiking the popular Slickrock Bike Trail just outside of town. After watching one of the most amazing sunsets I’ve seen from the Needles Overlook in early 2020, I had hiked about half of the Slickrock Trail’s eastern side but I wasn’t able to complete the full loop that day because there was just too much snow on the steep slopes of the undulating trail that made it dangerous and hard to follow. I figured this would also be a good opportunity to just spend the entire weekend within Sand Flats so I could continue hiking some of the trails in the area that I had not been on before and spend the night in one of the camp loops. It sounded like a good enough plan to me, so I left home early on Saturday morning and made my way over to Moab.

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Kodachrome Flat: Land of Sand Pipes & Chimneys

Veterans Day Weekend at Kodachrome Basin State Park
Thursday – Sunday, November 9-12, 2023

Kodachrome Basin State Park is a relatively small park located in Southern Utah that is nestled into the rugged canyon country between the White Cliffs and the Pink Cliffs of the Grand Staircase and is best known for the sixty-seven towering sand pipes that dominate the desert landscape. These sedimentary pipes are believed to be found nowhere else on earth and while there are several theories that have been proposed to try to explain their formation, geologists are still unsure of the exact origin of these unusual sand spires. Over the years I have driven right past the entrance to Kodachrome Basin on numerous occasions as I have driven down the Cottonwood Road while exploring the Grand – Staircase Escalate National Monument, which practically surrounds this small reserve, and in all that time I have never stopped to check it out. This holiday weekend I finally planned to change all that by spending some quality time hiking and exploring the interesting landscape of Kodachrome Flat.

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The High Plateaus of Utah: Proper Edge of the Sky

The Plateau Provence: Peaks & Plateaus of the Colorado Plateau
Wednesday – Friday, August 30 – September 1, 2023

The High Plateaus of Utah are a group of elevated tablelands that form the boundary between the Colorado Plateau and the Great Basin in Central Utah and are what Wallace Stegner once described as “those remarkable mountains that are not mountains at all but greatly elevated rolling plains.” Although I have driven around and between the High Plateaus many times over the years, I have not spent very much time up on top of any of them and I wanted to change that this summer so I could see what they were all about. And what better way is there to get to know a new place than by driving the backroads and visiting the highpoints along the way! I figured that I would start at the northern end of the Wasatch Plateau and then work my way south, looping back around to finish up on Thousand Lake Mountain, where I could hop back on I-70 and head back home after a nice introduction to the area. That was the plan, and I thought it was a pretty good one, but as you will see, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”

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