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Tag: ruins

The Land In-Between: Around The Needles

Friday – Monday, January 14-17, 2022

Well here it is, my first Trip Report of 2022! This wasn’t originally supposed to be my first trip of 2022, but we ended up cancelling our plans over New Years Day weekend because of the weather and then I decided to take last weekend off, too. So now it’s time to get back at it again, and what better way to start off the year then by spending a three-day weekend exploring one of my absolute favorite places on the Colorado PlateauThe Needles! As usual, I left after work on Friday afternoon and made my way down to The Needles and found a place to camp along the Lockhart Basin Road. Then I spent the rest of the weekend exploring the Land In Between the more popular trails in the park to see what I could find along the way and ended up hiking over 36 miles. It felt good to put in some higher miles this weekend since I’ve been taking it easier after my incident in November.

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White Rim Trail: Queen Anne Bottom to Taylor Canyon

Friday – Sunday, December 10-12, 2021

Back in October, before the prices of backcountry permits in Canyonlands National Park were set to increase, I decided to grab a couple more permits over the winter for campsites along the White Rim Trail. The first permit I got was for mid-December along the western end of the White Rim Trail at the Hardscrabble Bottom and Taylor Canyon campsites. Both were campsites that I had not stayed at yet. I actually had a permit to stay at the Taylor Canyon campsite two years ago when I was working on completing all of the hiking trails in the Island in the Sky District, but a weather system moving through the area that weekend made me change those plans, so I was looking forward to another opportunity. There were also some short hikes along this section of the White Rim Trail that I wanted to check out last year while Diane and Jared were riding the White Rim, but I ended up not having time for them.

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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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The Chaco Phenomenon of the San Juan Basin

Tour of the Ancients: Chimney Rock National Monument, Twin Angels Pueblo & Lowry Pueblo
Thursday & Friday, May 20-21, 2021

After leaving El Malpais National Monument in the early afternoon on Thursday, we then drove north across the San Juan Basin on our way to Durango. There was a storm system moving into the area this evening and it was supposed to rain overnight and throughout the day on Friday, so we thought it would be best to get a hotel room in town tonight. On our way we made a short detour to visit the Twin Angels Pueblo, which is a Chacoan Great House located at the edge of Kutz Canyon, not far from Angel Peak. We were planning to visit Chimney Rock National Monument on Friday and had already visited the Dittert Site in the El Malpais National Conservation Area earlier in the week, so I thought it would be nice to visit yet another Chaco Outlier this week.

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