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Backbone of the Earth: Comb Ridge

New Years Weekend | Friday – Sunday, January 1-3, 2021

After spending Christmas Weekend around Moab I really didn’t have any solid plans set for the New Year holiday weekend. Diane definitely wanted us to get outside over the first weekend of the New Year since she is going to be starting Physician Assistant school on Monday and her free time will most likely be pretty limited over the next two years, so she probably won’t be able to join me on as many trips as she usually does. After following the weather forecast during the week and weighing our options we made a last-minute decision to spend the long holiday weekend hiking and exploring Comb Ridge in southern Utah for our first trip of 2021. Although we had made it to Cedar Mesa a couple of times last year, we never spent any time on The Comb, so we were looking forward to getting back there. As a matter of fact, I think it’s been quite a while since I dedicated a whole trip just to exploring Comb Ridge, so we were long overdue! Enjoy my photos from the weekend and my first Trip Report of 2021!

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River Flowing from the Sunrise: The San Juan

Friday – Monday, May 10-13, 2019

Over the years I have floated the San Juan River between Sand Island and Mexican Hat a couple of times with a small group of friends and we almost always have had a great time on this stretch of the river. I say ‘almost always‘ because the temperature was way too hot out during our last trip in 2017 and the water was moving very fast which turned out to be a bad combination for us. We ended up cutting that trip a day short and heading home early. After taking last year off for a Labyrinth Canyon trip, we decided to get a permit for the San Juan again this year to make up for that last trip. This year I was hoping for much better weather since we were going in May again, but I was still a little worried when we drove down to Bluff on Friday afternoon through rain storms and cold temperatures even though the forecast for the rest of the weekend was looking good. I certainly had my fingers crossed and hoped that the rainbow I saw as we drove over White Mesa was a good sign! And for anyone wondering, River Flowing from the Sunrise is a translation of the Ute name for the San Juan River, and I think it’s a pretty fitting one.

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The Upper San Juan River Canyon

Sand Island to Mexican Hat
Friday – Monday, June 16-19, 2017

Hot!!! That’s the one word I would use to describe our most recent trip down the upper San Juan River. Even though I didn’t have much time off from work this summer because of our wedding and honeymoon in March, I was able to squeeze in a short river trip on the San Juan from Sand Island to Mexican Hat. While I have floated this stretch of the river a few times before (20132014), it’s still a favorite of mine and I certainly don’t mind repeating it. In the past our group has done this trip during the month of May and both times it turned out to be colder than we had expected, so this year we decided to try going in June for warmer weather, although I was a little concerned about how bad the bugs might be at this time of the year. Who knew that we would be going on this trip during a heat wave in the southwest when we got our permit?

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San Juan Canyon

The San Juan River | Sand Island to Mexican Hat
Sunday – Wednesday, May 11-14, 2014

We didn’t have any luck in the San Juan River lottery again this year, but I managed to grab an open date on the calendar for a time my friends and I would be able to go during the month of May. Like last year, I was only able to secure a permit from Sand Island to Mexican Hat. It was probably a good thing because I really didn’t want to take too much more time off from work in May since I had already taken a few days for my backpacking trip in Salt Creek Canyon and I have a few other days scheduled off for later in the month.

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