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Tag: thunderstorm

Into the Dark: Canyons of the Dark Canyon Plateau

Southern Utah Wanderings | Friday – Monday, September 29 – October 2, 2023

The time had finally come to get back out into the desert on the Colorado Plateau and I was definitely ready to begin my annual trip into Southern Utah with my friend Jared. This year we decided to start out hiking and exploring a couple of canyons that cut deep into the Dark Canyon Plateau and Elk Ridge so we could continue what we had originally began during our 2021 trip around the Abajo Mountains before we were chased out of the higher country by wet and stormy weather at the time. As usual, I left from work on Friday afternoon, grabbed a quick dinner in Fruita and then drove straight through to Monticello, where I topped off my gas tank so it would last me the next couple of days in the backcountry. It had been a very windy drive, which would be just a taste of what was in store for us over the next couple of days. From Monticello I followed the Harts Draw Loop Road into Indian Creek and then headed up onto the Salt Creek Plateau where I stopped at our usual campsite in the area and waited for Jared to arrive later in the evening.

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South San Juan Mountains from Elwood Pass

Friday – Monday, July 28 – 31, 2023

After spending the last two days around the Animas River Valley between Coal Bank Pass and Durango, I decided to spend the next couple of days further south and east in a distant part of the San Juan Mountains that I don’t get around to visiting very often. I’ve definitely been long overdue for another visit to the South San Juan Mountains between Wolf Creek Pass and the New Mexico state line and figured that this would be a good opportunity to get back since it wasn’t too much further away. After the GIS Colorado Summer Meetup concluded late in the morning on Friday I packed up my Jeep and made my way over to Pagosa Springs to continue on with the next leg of the trip.

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Coal Bank Pass: Spud Lake Trail & Pass Trail

Wednesday & Thursday, July 26-27, 2023

While spending the latter part of this week attending the annual GIS Colorado Summer Meetup at the Chris Park Campground near Durango, I was able to get out on a couple of short hikes near Coal Bank Pass since I was in the area. On Wednesday afternoon I left work, grabbed a quick dinner in Delta and then headed down through the San Juan Mountains to the campground via the San Juan Skyway. After crossing over Red Mountain Pass and getting stopped by construction for a little while, I continued over Molas Pass and Coal Bank Pass and then turned off onto the old Lime Creek Road so I could go on a short hike to Potato Lake via the Spud Lake Trail.

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Stillwater Canyon: The Green River in Canyonlands

Floating from Mineral Bottom to The Confluence | Average CFS: 2,590
Friday – Wednesday, September 16-21, 2022

The time had finally come! It was time for me to float the Green River through Stillwater Canyon in Canyonlands National Park and I couldn’t have been more excited! I’ve wanted to float this stretch of the river for many years now but have always put it off for other trips because I was a little concerned about making it to The Confluence in time for the Jetboat shuttle. Our float down Meander Canyon was actually kind of a test to see how easy it would be for us to make that kind of distance in our inflatable kayaks at this time of the year, and we ended up coming up short by about eleven miles on that trip. Still, I made it one of my goals to finally get into Stillwater Canyon this year and booked the Jetboat shuttle back in February. This time I added an extra day to the trip just to make sure we would have enough time to make it to The Confluence. As usual, my friends Jackson and Chris were supposed to join me on this trip, but unfortunately Chris had to back out the week before, so this time it would just be me and Jackson.

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West Elk Wilderness: Cut Short on the Mill-Castle Trail

Saturday, August 13, 2022

This weekend Diane was able to get away from her clinical rotations for a bit so she could go on an overnight backpacking trip with me into the West Elk Wilderness. We planned to take it easy by hiking up the Mill-Castle Trail along Mill Creek and thought that maybe we could make it up to the top of Storm Pass for an overlook of The Castles before returning the same way back to the trailhead. Unfortunately, this time we didn’t made it much further beyond the nice waterfall in Mill Creek and ended up turning this backpacking trip into a day hike. This was an amazingly scenic canyon and we both really enjoyed the shorter hike, so we will definitely need to return here again in the future!

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