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Tag: the grotto

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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Moab Winter Weekend 2020

Saturday & Sunday, December 26-27, 2020

Well, I guess this is it. My final trip report from 2020. After spending all of Christmas Day in Arches National Park we spent the rest of the weekend near the Colorado River south of Moab revisiting some areas I haven’t been to in a long time, plus a few new places, too. We left town early on Saturday morning, drove through Kane Creek Canyon and then headed up to Hurrah Pass so we could watch the sunrise from the top before continuing on to the Chicken Corners Trail.

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Meander Canyon: The Colorado River in Canyonlands

Floating from the Potash Boat Ramp to The Loop | Average CFS: 2,660
Thursday – Sunday, September 17-20, 2020

On Thursday morning Diane and I woke up extra early at 3:30am and headed down to Moab where we drove through The Portal on our way to the Potash Boat Ramp and met up with our friends Jackson, Amy and Chris just after sunrise. We were going to be spending the next couple of days on a relaxing float through Meander Canyon on the calm waters of the Colorado River into the heart of Canyonlands National Park. I had such a great time in Labyrinth Canyon two years ago at this same time of the year, so I was really looking forward to another trip similar to that. Although Diane swore that she would never go on another river trip with me after our swift float through Slick Rock Canyon, I managed to talk her into giving it one more try after promising her that this would be all flat water with no rapids! Thankfully, she really enjoyed this trip and I think she will definitely be coming with me on future flat water adventures!

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River of Sorrows: The Dolores River

Slick Rock Canyon | Big Gypsum Valley to Bedrock
Friday – Saturday, June 14-15, 2019

Early Spanish explorers called it El Rio de Nuestra Señora de Dolores, or the River of Our Lady of Sorrows translated into English. Today it’s known as the Dolores River, which begins as snowmelt high up in the San Juan Mountains near Bolam Pass and empties into the Colorado River in Utah after traveling through the canyon country of western Colorado. For a long time I have wanted to float the Dolores River through Slick Rock Canyon, which begins at Big Gypsum Valley and ends at Paradox Valley, but since the water of the river is usually siphoned off at the McPhee Reservoir upstream there is typically only a very short window of time to actually do it, if there is any opportunity at all! So far I had never been able to make the timing work for a trip, however, with the high snowpack in the San Juan Mountains this year it looked like I was finally going to be able to get my chance!

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Coyote Buttes North

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Sunday, January 28, 2018

After spending an amazing day in Coyote Buttes South on Saturday, I slept well overnight in the Stateline Campground along House Rock Valley Road and woke up early to start hiking into Coyote Buttes North on Sunday morning. I didn’t have any specific location planned to photograph at sunrise, so I just started hiking about an hour before sunrise and figured that I would just take photos wherever I was when the sun finally came over the distant horizon. Nautical dawn was just beginning as I left the Wire Pass Trailhead and I wouldn’t need to use my headlamp for very long.

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