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Thanksgiving Weekend Below the Bears Ears

Cedar Mesa Chronicles: Chapter 8 | Thursday – Saturday, November 24-26, 2022

This year during the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend Diane was able to get away from her clinical rotations for a little while and join me on our annual trip into the Bears Ears region. Our friend Jared was also able to meet us down there, so we all went out hiking in the canyons together. Although I had originally planned to spend all four days in the area, our cat Tellico (Rico) is having some health issues and we didn’t want to leave her home for that long, so we decided to cut the trip short by a day and come home on Saturday afternoon instead. The weather was great for hiking and we had a nice time exploring new parts of canyons we had been in before, plus we were able to revisit some other favorite places. Here are a couple photos from the weekend!

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Cedar Mesa Chronicles: Chapter 7

Veterans Day Weekend | Thursday – Sunday, November 10-13, 2022

This year for the extended Veterans Day Weekend I was feeling the pull of the ancients to return to the canyons of Cedar Mesa. Even though I seem to have been neglecting this area for a while now, I decided it was time to follow. As usual, I left from work on Thursday afternoon, drove through Moab and then headed south across Dry Valley to Monticello and Blanding. From there, I made my way west through the Comb Ridge and then up onto Cedar Mesa where I found a spot to camp along the old Emigrant Trail. After a good night of sleep I spent the rest of the weekend exploring a couple of canyons on Cedar Mesa and even made a foray into Lower White Canyon, too.

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Petroglyphs of the Painted Desert

Petrified Forest National Park | Alternate Plans: Back on the Four Corners Circuit
Tuesday – Wednesday, May 24-25, 2022

After our half-day Jeep tour in Canyon del Muerto on Monday, it was time to spend a pair of days hiking in the backcountry of Petrified Forest National Park, which has quickly become one of our favorite places to explore over the past couple of years. Since the park does not open until 8:00am, we were able to sleep in a little later this morning before leaving Holbrook and driving over to the entrance. Once we arrived, the first thing we did was stop in at the temporary Painted Desert Visitor Center and grabbed a backpacking wilderness permit, since it’s a great place to spend the night. Then we headed off in search of petroglyphs for the rest of the morning and early afternoon, and we found a lot!

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Thanksgiving in the Land of Enchantment

Defensive Sites of Dinétah, Black Friday in Chaco Canyon II & Images of Dinétah
Thanksgiving Weekend | Thursday – Sunday, November 25-28, 2021

It feels like I’ve already spent a lot of time in the Land of Enchantment this year with visits to El Malpais National Monument, Mount Taylor and Wheeler Peak– so this seemed like the perfect year to skip our annual Thanksgiving visit to Cedar Mesa and head back to northwestern New Mexico instead. We actually did the same thing five years ago, so this wouldn’t be our first time spending Thanksgiving in La Tierra Del Encanto. We had originally planned to head to New Mexico last year for Thanksgiving, but the COVID restrictions at the time made us change our plans, so we were really looking forward to finally getting back this year! We left home early on Thursday morning and drove over Red Mountain Pass through the San Juan Mountains to Bloomfield, where we would be spending a couple of nights while we explored Dinétah and Chaco Culture National Historical Park for the next couple of days.

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Blue Mountain Shadows: Beef Basin to Cedar Mesa

Southern Utah Wanderings | Friday – Friday, October 1-8, 2021

This year for our annual week-long trek into Southern Utah, Jared and I started out in the Beef Basin area and then we explored our way over to Cedar Mesa. It has been a while since either of us had spent much time around Beef Basin and I was also really hoping that we would be able to spend some quality time around the Dark Canyon Plateau and Elk Ridge areas along the way. The trip started out great and we found plenty of new rock art and ruin sites, but unfortunately the weather did not cooperate with us on the second half of this trip and we had to change our plans multiple times because of storms and slick muddy roads. At one point we even stopped to help winch a truck back onto the road that was sliding off. One of the unexpected benefits of the poor weather was that it chased us closer to the Abajo Mountains than we were originally planning to go, and they were in peak falls colors at the time! At the end of the week we found out that President Biden was restoring the original boundaries of Bears Ears National Monument, which was fitting since we were sitting in camp within the newly restored boundary. I’m not going to get into the nitty-gritty details of this trip, so please enjoy plenty of photos from our journey below.

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