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Tag: potsherds

The Painted Desert: Land of Light and Shadow

Homolovi State Park & Petrified Forest National Park
Saturday – Monday, January 13-15, 2024

For about a year now, Diane and I have been making pretty solid plans to spend most of the upcoming week in Grand Canyon National Park. Since we would be passing right through the Painted Desert on our way there, we were also looking forward to spending a couple of days in the Petrified Forest along the way. We certainly could never have predicted that after our first visit to Petrified Forest National Park in 2020 we would fall in love with exploring this amazing place and have now returned each year for the past five years. With so many places still left to explore in the park, we are hoping to keep the trend going well into the future!

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Hovenweep’s Centennial and the Great Sage Plain

Hovenweep National Monument & Canyons of the Ancients National Monument
Saturday – Monday, October 21-23, 2023

It feels like it’s been quite a while since the last time I visited and spent some quality time in Hovenweep National Monument and Canyons of the Ancients National Monument and I’ve been really meaning to get back down to that area for the past couple of years, but it just hadn’t seemed to happen yet as I keep putting it off for other trips. However, this year I made it a priority to get back with Diane so we could celebrate Hovenweep’s Centennial year since it was proclaimed a unit of the National Park System on March 2, 1923 by President Warren G. Harding. I also figured that this would be a great opportunity for Diane to visit the units of the park she had not been to before and I would be able to hike the few remaining trails in Hovenweep that I had not been on before and could finally cross this park off my ‘completed trails’ list. So early on Saturday morning Diane and I loaded up the Jeep and headed south along the Colorado – Utah state line to spend an extended three-day weekend exploring Hovenweep and other canyons of the Great Sage Plain!

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Chapin Mesa at Mesa Verde National Park

Thursday & Friday, October 12-13, 2023

For the past year or so, Diane and I have been planning to spend an extended three-day weekend in southern Utah so we could watch the Annular Solar Eclipse that would be occurring on Saturday morning. A month or so back we found out that she would also have Thursday off from work, so I went ahead and grabbed two permits for the Square Tower House Tour at Mesa Verde National Park because it’s the only tour offered in the park this year that we had not been on before. Since we had such a great time exploring Wetherill Mesa last summer I thought it would be a great idea copy that trip and spend the entire day visiting sites and overlooks on Chapin Mesa this time, especially the ones I hadn’t been to before or just don’t remember all too well. In the end we would spend sunup to sunset on Chapin Mesa and have a pretty great day, even if it was a bit windy and chilly out!

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Back on the Sandstone Spine: Comb Ridge

Friday – Sunday, February 24-26, 2023

After unsuccessfully trying to get on the Comb Ridge twice this year already, I almost gave up a third time this weekend as yet another winter storm system moved through the area during the week. However, later in the week I decided to take my chances and head down that way anyway. I had some alternate plans, just in case. I’m glad I ended up going since conditions on Saturday were very nice with dry roads and the high temperature reaching sixty degrees. It was lovely spring-like weather and I was glad to be out exploring the Bears Ears region once again! Of course, then conditions quickly changed again on Sunday morning- but more on that later…

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A Brief Stopover in Petrified Forest National Park

Arizona Winter Loop | Saturday & Sunday, January 28-29, 2023

We recently found out that Diane would have a little time off from her clinical rotations before going back at it in mid-February and then she would be pretty busy until her graduation in May, so we decided to load up the Jeep and head down to southern Arizona in search of some warmer temperatures for a week. One of my main goals this trip was to spend a couple days exploring the Sky Islands and Chiricahua National Monument in the southeastern corner of Arizona, but since it’s a long drive to get there we broke up the initial drive by spending a night at the Painted Desert Ranger Cabin near Petrified Forest National Park and did a little hiking while we were there. I just can’t pass up an opportunity to spend a little time hiking in the backcountry of that amazing park when we are nearby!

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