UT – Celebrating Bears Ears National Monument

In October when I saw the headlines, “Comb Ridge Parcel Sold to Highest Bidder” in High Country News, I was beyond sad. This place held special memories from my visit in 2015.

When I started hearing rumors that President Obama may protect much of the remaining land, I was hopeful. And. Then. It Happened! 12/28/16

The White House issued this Proclamation establishing Bears Ears as a National Monument.

The Salt Lake Tribute included a nice map showing the new boundaries. This article, “Bears Ears a go — but here’s where Obama drew the line” by High Country News explains a bit of the history and the areas compromised out.

It was indeed a day to celebrate. You feel personally connected to an area after visiting and seeing it with your own eyes. This is a special place. Without action by many who care, this could have become just another area poked full of holes with protruding pipes, or maybe littered with cow pies and cattle trails, or maybe an ATV paradise. It’s a good reminder to act upon your passions. We can’t take protection for granted. Sign petitions, write politicians, stand up for what you believe.

Utah – J&J WOW Adventures (01/20/15-01/25/15)

Jan and Joan ready for their WOW adventure!

For the next leg of my southwest adventure, Kathy & Craig Copeland’s book, Hiking from Here to WOW: Utah Canyon Country, set the stage for Joan & Jan’s WOW adventures! New Gossamer Gear friends Janet and Will helped us narrow down the 90 trails outlined in the book.

The WOW guide introduction says “Your time is short, but the canyons are endless. So we’ve simplified the task . . . with trails most likely to make you say WOW! No okay trails. Not even any pretty good trails. And certainly no trudgemills. Just . . . trips that will get you from here to WOW . . . as swiftly as possible.”

Comb Ridge Canyons

Driving through the Comb Ridge Cut the first time was a WOW moment!

Seeing Comb Ridge was another “WOW!”

While taking a sunset hike, we were WOWED when we happened upon a wall of petroglyphs.

For sunrise we couldn’t help but hike back for another WOW moment.

Nice to know it’s okay to open the gate (thanks WOW guide).

Loved the colors and textures of the rocks

The Ancestral Puebloans sure knew how to pick a home with a view

Procession Panel (notice the parade of people with torches)

My first trek into an Arroyo

Double Stack Ruin (upper level)

Double Stack Ruin (lower level) – Kiva

Double Stack Ruin (lower level) – one of many remaining structures

Double Stack Ruin (lower level) – 700+ year old corn cobs WOW!

Pictographs (vs petroglyphs)

Double Stack Ruin – Alcove

Tinajas (with the recent rains, we found most plenty full and ready for a drink)

Wolfman Panel

Wolfman Panel

Ruins near Wolfman Panel

South Fork Mule Canyon

House of Fire Ruin

Waterfall dripping over the alcove

Fresh water!

Kane Gulch

It was a brisk 16 degrees at the trailhead.

Microspikes made this hike possible.

Turkey Pen Ruins

The old turkey pen?

Soot along the walls as evidence of fires within each shelter, imagine living high on the walls, carving the rocks, telling stories around the fire . . .

Junction Ruin (one of the most well preserved due to the protected ledge and difficult access)

The rocks were WOW!

Valley of the Gods and Moki Dugway

What’s a Dugway? First time I’d heard the word.

The Moki Dugway was so much fun to drive, especially at this time of year when there was nary another vehicle and the opportunity existed for plenty of photos and views. Definitely a WOW experience!

Entering Valley of the Gods (another monument valley)

Can you say WOW?

Lady in the Bathtub (see her?)

My favorite – looked like the back of a toy bear and his horse to me.

Sunrise in the Valley of the Gods. WOW right?

The magic hour of light

BAM! Perfect timing to catch the first rays of light.

Enjoy this J&J Good Morning from the Valley of the Gods video with 360 degree views.

Anyone know what this unusual post might represent?

For more photos, see #JJUtahAdventures on Instagram

To learn more about my adventure buddy Joan, see her blog at Rambling Hemlock

A good resource to get started is Utah.com

Bye for now, can’t wait for my next J&J adventure!

 

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