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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Friday: Grand Junction to Blanding

Heading to Comb Ridge for Thanksgiving weekend is a trip I had been planning for a while. Our plans changed a little during the weekend and we didn't spend as much time on Comb Ridge as originally planned, but we made up for that in other ways. Unfortunately, Amanda had to work on Black Friday preventing us from heading down sooner, but the good news was that she worked much earlier than normal. This allowed us to leave earlier and take a few backroads on our way to Blanding instead of hopping on the interstate and taking US 191 the whole way.

We started out heading south on CO 141 through Gateway and then followed the Dolores River towards Uravan. Shortly before reaching Uravan, we got off the pavement and headed south through Saucer Basin and towards Paradox Valley. Along this route we passed underneath the Hanging Flume which was built between 1889 - 1891 to deliver water to a mining project.



The road along the San Miguel River with the Hanging Flume above



Soon we reached the confluence of the San Miguel and Dolores Rivers



After following along the Dolores for a few more miles we entered Paradox Valley



Made a quick stop in Bedrock



The post office


We then climbed out of Paradox Valley on CO 90 and continued on UT 46 to US 191. Made a left turn and headed to Blanding. We made a quick stop at Wilson Arch near sunset for a photo :)



Stay tuned for the rest for the trip report over the next few days!
 

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nice, very nice,, great pics
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Comb Ridge and more...

The original goal for this trip was to spend most of the weekend hiking to Anasazi ruins on Comb Ridge. However, after hiking a few miles we realized we were a little more out of shape than we had thought ;) So we didn't exactly spend the whole weekend hiking. Luckily we had the Jeep with us so we could still do some exploring.

On Saturday we woke up bright and early and headed south towards Bluff and made it to Butler Wash road just as the sun was starting to come up. Our first destination was the Wolfman Petroglyph Panel. Reaching the panel from the trailhead required only a short hike.

Comb Ridge in the background...parked at the Wolfman Panel trailhead



Part of the trail along the cliff face



Wolfman Petroglyph Panel





After making it back to the Jeep we headed further north along Comb Ridge and started our hike to Monarch Cave ruins.

Monarch Cave ruins with the narrow and off-camber path to reach them



Closer view



Hand prints above us



The view back down the canyon we hiked up

 

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Discussion Starter #7
After hiking back to our Jeep, we had an early lunch and headed yet further north to our next destination. Our next goal was Fishmouth Cave. This canyon contained a few alcoves with ruins in them.

Fishmouth Cave in the distance



A few of the ruins we found along the way.







After completing the hike, we were pretty worn out and decided to stick to the backroads in the Jeep for the rest of the weekend. We started out by taking Deckers Road back to US 191 and looping back through Bluff on our way to Valley of the Gods.



We came across this section of road that was built right over the carcass of an old car.



Setting Hen and Rooster Butte in Valley of the Gods

 

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Discussion Starter #8
A few more pictures from Valley of the Gods







The washboard road through Valley of the Gods was terrible! After making it back to the pavement, we were right next to the Moki Dugway, so we took the short drive up to the top and back down again.



Next we took a short trip down Mexican Hat Road which ended at the San Juan River.

Mexican Hat Rock



San Juan River



...and finally before heading back to Blanding for some dinner we went back into Valley of the Gods to try and get a nice sunset picture. Unfortunately, the sky didn't cooperate with me....but here's a couple of pics anyways.





Stay tuned for Sunday, the final day :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I take it these locations were both in CO?

Also randy what sort of Camera are you using?
Friday's pictures were all in Colorado except Wilson Arch, which is in Utah. The rest of the pics are in Utah near Bluff and Mexican Hat

Some of the pictures were taken with my Canon Powershot SD890 IS and some were taken with my new Canon Digital Rebel XSi
 

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Friday's pictures were all in Colorado except Wilson Arch, which is in Utah. The rest of the pics are in Utah near Bluff and Mexican Hat

Some of the pictures were taken with my Canon Powershot SD890 IS and some were taken with my new Canon Digital Rebel XSi
You like the Rebel? Why did you go with it over the other options out there, the Nikon counterpart as an example?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You like the Rebel? Why did you go with it over the other options out there, the Nikon counterpart as an example?
Yes, I do like the XSi. I went with it over Nikon because the Nikons with similar features as the XSi (like Live View) cost a few hundred dollars more. Plus, I have always had good luck with my Canon point & shoot cameras and figured I'd stick with them.
 

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Yes, I do like the XSi. I went with it over Nikon because the Nikons with similar features as the XSi (like Live View) cost a few hundred dollars more. Plus, I have always had good luck with my Canon point & shoot cameras and figured I'd stick with them.
Good to know, hopefully I will be able to pick up a "nice" camera in the next couple of months.
 

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I love the trips pics. I hope one day i can do something like this. (and get a reliable camra 2 lol I hate that my camra broke!!!)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Arch Canyon

Still sore from the previous day's hiking, we decided to run a local trail in the Jeep before heading home. Back in May we had run Arch Canyon for the first time, however it was cloudy and rainy much of the day. I wanted to head back with my new DSLR and a blue sky (though, we could have used some nice puffy white clouds). Amanda hasn't driven my Jeep much in the past, but she wanted to drive this trail to the end. She was a bit nervous at first but was much more comfortable by the end. I got to ride along and relax for most of the trail :)

Amanda dropping into one of the numerous crossings along this trail



Headed up canyon





A good place to stop for some pictures





Surprisingly, we also encountered a little bit of carnage on this trail. We were driving along and heard a loud snap when we hit a bump, followed by a noise every time the passenger side front coil spring flexed and compressed. It sounded like something was stuck inside the coil, so I got out to investigate...

 

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Discussion Starter #17
That's right.....the smaller coil on top snapped off and now the coil was sitting up higher on the body. The Jeep still drove fine, it was just a few inches lower on the passenger side now. The good news is that just today I received word that Rubicon Express will be replacing my coils under their limited lifetime warranty. Happy to see a company stand behind their products.

Shortly after the coil snapping we reached the end of the motorized trail through Arch Canyon near Cathedral Arch.



Cathedral Arch





Trail on the way back out



Just a cool reflection in a puddle



If you look closely in this picture, you can see a few small Anasazi ruins along the cliff behind my Jeep



Crooked Jeep and Comb Ridge in the background on our way back home



On our way back home we headed up US 191 to I-70, but with a small detour down the Thompson Cutoff Road



That's all for this trip report :)
 

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dude, some seriously awesome pictures.
 
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