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Cedar Mesa Chronicles

Below the Bears Ears: Thanksgiving Weekend 2023

Cedar Mesa Chronicles: Chapter 10 | Thursday – Sunday, November 23-26, 2023

This year for the extended Thanksgiving holiday weekend I returned Below the Bears Ears to the canyons of Cedar Mesa like I typically do at this time of the year, so I could explore some new places and maybe revisit some old ones along the way. When I left home early on Thursday morning the weather forecast was not looking that great for Friday into Saturday with our first real winter storm on the way, but I wasn’t too concerned about it since I had plenty of backup ...

Cedar Mesa Chronicles: Chapter 9

Southern Utah Wanderings | Tuesday – Thursday, October 3-5, 2023

After spending the last couple of days exploring the canyons of the Dark Canyon Plateau, it was now time for Jared and I to spend a little time in the canyons of Cedar Mesa. After grabbing dinner and replenishing our supplies in Blanding on Monday afternoon, we returned to Comb Wash and found a nice campsite to spend the night in. Then on Tuesday morning we headed up the narrow and sandy road into Arch Canyon where we planned to stay through the following day. It’s been just about fifteen ...

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, ...

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 ...

Bears Ears to Hovenweep and Canyons of the Ancients

Alternate Plans: Back on the Four Corners Circuit | Cedar Mesa Chronicles: Chapter 6
Friday & Saturday, May 20-21, 2022

This upcoming week Diane was going to be out of school and was looking forward to getting away for her Spring Break, so for the past few months I had been planning a week-long trip for us to visit the Jemez Mountains and Bandelier National Monument near Santa Fe. Unfortunately, the large Cerro Pelado Wildfire ended up closing both Bandelier National Monument and the Santa Fe National Forest before our trip, so I was forced to come up with Alternate ...

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, ...

Grand Gulch: Kane Gulch to Bullet Canyon

Cedar Mesa Chronicles: Chapter 4
Wednesday – Sunday, March 31 – April 4, 2021

Last spring Jared, Dave and I had made plans and obtained a permit to backpack on the Navajo Nation for the first time, but because the pandemic shut a lot of things down at the time, we were forced to cancel those plans. Since the Navajo Nation was still closed to visitors this spring we had to find something else to do for our annual spring backpacking trip this year. After discussing a number of different options over the winter, we finally settled on backpacking the ...

Cedar Mesa Chronicles: Chapter 3

Thursday – Sunday, March 25-28, 2021

This weekend Jerry and I were planning to go on a three-day backpacking trip in Capitol Reef National Park, but as the weekend got closer the weather forecast was not looking good. The forecast was calling for much cooler temperatures with rain and snow which would not have been good for the narrow water-filled canyon we wanted to hike, so it looked like we would be changing our plans. Instead, we decided to head further south to Comb Ridge and Cedar Mesa since we knew we would be able to work around the weather ...

Hidden in the Shadows of the Bears Ears

Thanksgiving Weekend | Cedar Mesa Chronicles: Chapter 2
Thursday – Sunday, November 26-29, 2020

This year for Thanksgiving we were originally thinking about changing up our typical plans and spending the long holiday weekend in northern New Mexico instead. However, with the pandemic essentially shutting down travel into New Mexico right now we decided it would be best for us to stay in southern Utah and return to Cedar Mesa like we usually do. While we would normally get a hotel room in Blanding for this annual trip, we were not really comfortable staying at a hotel this time around, ...

Cedar Mesa Chronicles: Chapter 1

Friday – Sunday, October 23-25, 2020

After spending last weekend on the White Rim in Canyonlands National Park, this weekend we headed a little further south to visit Cedar Mesa for the very first time this year. Usually by now I have spent at least a couple of weekends hiking in the canyons of Cedar Mesa, but with the COVID-19 lockdowns in the spring this was the first opportunity I have had to make it back down here this year. We got a little bit of a later start on Friday than I had planned since Diane got stuck at ...