Back in the Saddle.

Hiatus (hi・a・tus) – a pause or gap in a sequence, series, or process.

I feel like that’s a pretty good term to describe my lack of posts since, what, October? November? Life happens and people get busy and no one reads this damn blog anyway so it doesn’t matter, right? Right. I’ve done some cool things since my last post and the end of 2017 was good to me.

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Sunrise at the Grand Canyon

I was fortunate enough to spend my Thanksgiving weekend in Arizona and Utah exploring the Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend,  Zion, Monument Valley, Valley of Fire, and Red Rocks.

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Needs no description. 

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The day after Thanksgiving we hiked the south Kaibab trail all the way down to the Colorado River and back out. It was about 20 miles and we hiked it in 7 hours. When we got up in the morning it was 26 degrees at the rim of the canyon. By the time we had descended to the bottom of the canyon, it was a warm 84 degrees. It’s estimated that only 1% of the Grand Canyon’s visitors actually hike down to the Colorado River.

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Colorado River and the bottom of the Grand Canyon. 
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Monument Valley

Spent a day playing around in Monument Valley. This iconic viewpoint isn’t even part of the actual Monument Valley Park though. This is Forrest Gump Point and by the time I learned where it was, we had to race the setting sun to get here before it set. The road is actually kind of dangerous though because people (like me) are always standing in the middle of the road trying to get their best picture while cars fly by.

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Angel’s Landing

After Monument Valley we caught sunrise at Zion National Park and did the famous Angel’s Landing hike. Most hiking apps had rated the hike as difficult but we cruised to the top, only taking a little over an hour to get to the actual “landing”. The hike was definitely one of the more fun hikes that I’ve done. You come close to some vertical drop offs and you actually scramble a little bit on your way to the top. The trail has chains as well to help you ascend and descend the harder parts of the trail but we got by without using the assists.

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Going back down from Angel’s Landing.

DSC02191One of the last places we stopped was Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. The red rocks that make up most of this park are gorgeous and when the rising or setting sun hits them with the warm light, you’re really in for a treat. This is one of the roads that runs through the park .

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Taken at Red Rocks Park outside of Vegas. 

On our last day in the southwest, we went to Red Rocks Park and did some hiking and exploring. For whatever reason, Las Vegas decided to have a gnarly wind storm our last day there so we didn’t end up spending too much time outside (plus we had to be at the airport by 3).

The previous pictures were a small, small, small bit of what we got over Thanksgiving weekend. Here are some other things we did at the end of 2017…

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Great Sand Dunes National Park at sunrise. 
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Mountain biking every damn chance we get..
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Bought a drone and took it rock climbing.
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Hiked every chance we got.

Our last weekend of 2017 was spent in Jackson, Wyoming. I wanted to take Mal up to see the Tetons but when we got there, the first two days were spent in a snow storm. We explored Jackson and did some snowshoeing but were never able to get a good view of the Tetons until our last day there. The shot below was done on a self timer and is one of my favorite “selfies” I’ve ever taken. It was snowing and gusting wind on Jackson Lake but I wanted the shot and Malorie was a good sport about it.

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Finally a view of the Tetons as we drive out. 
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Grand Teton from the air.
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Hell’s Half Acre in Wyoming on the drive home. 
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2018 started off with an awesome super moon.

That was just a few of the pictures that I’ve gotten in the past few months. If you’d like to see more, check out my instagram @knarles_gage

I’ll try to post on here more regularly.

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