2021-share your outings

Owen

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Part 1 of the trip I'm on is in the books.
Hammered out a big part of Canyonlands in just 2.5 days. Epic as I thought my first trip there was, this one blows it away. Redid my favorites, along with hiking the trails(aside from going down Salt Creek) that I hadn't hiked before.
Capped it off like I do every great adventure: sitting in a hotel doing laundry, and playing on the internet:rolleyes:

Said hotel does happen to be in Fruita, CO, and only 4.4 miles from the trailhead that leads to the 2nd largest concentration of natural arches in the world.
Maybe that's just a coincidence...

I haven't gone through all my pics, but here's a few.

My routes:
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Druid Arch
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View of my favorite basin from the mouth of a crack/tunnel that connects two canyon systems. This canyon is one of all-time my top favorites. Funny I didn't take more pics, and just made videos, but I took plenty last time...
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From the Devil's Pocket, looking toward Devil's Kitchen.
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This section of narrow caverns, with a few cool obstacles and extra-tight squeezes, technically connects Chesler Park to the Joint Trail, but is often referred to by the latter name.
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The Peekaboo Trail is, IMO, the best trail in Canyonlands. Very rugged in places, steeply off-camber with exposure in others, and has unbelievable views in all directions. Guess that doesn't say much, since I just described everything at Canyonlands, but it's hard to relate with words or pictures, and I mostly took video.

You go up and down, across and over stuff like this:
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Traverse things like this:
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Crawl through things like this:
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Drop from the end of things like this:
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All while viewing this in the distance:
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It's just a glorious hike.

This ladder marks the last part of the descent to the Peekaboo Springs area, which accesses Salt Creek.
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I detoured through Lost Canyon otw out, as it was the only major trail in Canyonlands that I had not hiked, except for Salt Creek, which requires a shuttle from the bottom to be hiked in its entirety.
Looking back into Lost Canyon. Topping out that climb, and the transition to Squaw Canyon, afterwards, was worth the extra mileage all by itself.
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Ready for part 2!
 
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Owen

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Well, as one UT resident told me, "there's miles, and there's 'Needles' miles'".
As the crow flies, right at 36 official trail miles. Too bad I can't fly.
Maybe 2 more of rambling, and checking out little side canyons...

Just did ~16 in CO's Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness, checking out the Rattlesnake Arches(that was part 2). It's supposed to be a 14.4 mile hike, but I may have accidentally followed a trail of use down the wrong canyon for a little while.
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Looks like a bighorn visited me while I was sleeping last night.
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About to head back to UT for part 3 and 4:)
 

Poppy

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Owen,
Yesterday my sister and I were discussing how beautiful our country is, and that there is no need to travel outside it's borders to see beauty. I pulled out my phone and shared your trips with her. :) :twothumbsup:

I am looking forward to parts 3 and 4 :)

Did you place that little stack of rocks? And what does it signify?

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Owen

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No, I did not stack any rocks. That's a cairn, and they're used to mark routes in places where there's no visible trail, or the trail gets covered in snow, etc. They're the only thing that makes travel possible in a place like Canyonlands.
Aside from that, stacks of rocks are eyesores that signify some emotionally retarded douchebag who wants to "leave their mark" left their spray paint at home...

Anyway, part 3 was supposed to be another sunset at Delicate Arch(at nearby Arches NP), but the parking lot was packed, and I just went over to Broken Arch for some solitude.
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Part 4 was supposed to be some dayhikes in Capitol Reef NP, but I had an extra day from not doing Salt Creek in the Canyonlands Needles district. So I checked out the Island in the Sky district, which I had not visited before.
Did a couple of very short dayhikes there, Upheaval Dome and Aztec Butte(with a side trip to some very old Native American granaries), visited several viewpoints, and Mesa Arch.
Mesa Arch isn't much, but it's what they've got there...
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That made Capitol Reef part 5.
First, I did a little 2mi roundtrip hike to Hickman Bridge.
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Then my favorite hike there, Cohab Canyon to the Frying Pan Trail to Cassidy Arch, which is ~8.5 miles r/t, plus whatever amount of screwing around I do going offtrail to look at stuff.
Did that last 9 or so miles in my sandals, which didn't hurt my ravaged pinky toe, and am now even more interested in some 0 drop footwear.
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Cassidy Arch
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Caught a couple from a distance, but there were 4 bighorns who showed themselves briefly on a ridge above me. I saw 1 in spring, and another in the fall, of 2011, and haven't seen any since, so I was really fired up about getting to see them.
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Owen

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Worked 20 of the first 21 nights, plus several doubles, after coming back from UT, with a road trip to see my goddaughter play volleyball at college level for the first time accounting for that 1 off night, so I haven't gotten to play much.
This week, we had warm weather followed by a 30F temperature drop, so I doubled on my 2nd off night, then called off for Thursday, so I could get some of those 20s.
Heavy rain preceding the temperature drop killed one of my destinations, since swimming a flooding creek was not on my to-do list, but I got in a short loop hike in TN that I turn into something more adventurous by spending the bulk of my time off-trail. Then I headed to N. AL to the Walls of Jericho, a popular dayhiking/overnight backpacking destination with a 3.5 mile descent to a canyon that ends at a natural limestone amphitheater surrounded by cliffs with a waterfall hidden in a higher section behind that. The water flows through a "cave", and out other holes in the wall, to form the creek that the trail follows up the canyon. It's pretty cool.

Several "firsts" this week.
-Being Good Friday, and with temps rapidly warming, I met 58(!) dayhikers on the way out, after having the Walls of Jericho to myself last night and this morning. Holy crap. I don't see that many people in a year with my regular off nights.
-Also did some more hiking in my sandals, since there's a water crossing right at the end. Leaving the sandals on after a crossing in sub-freezing temps was another first, as was getting to see my toes go from white to red to purple:ironic:
-Yesterday and today was also my first time hiking in actual 0 drop shoes(LOVE it), a pair of Altra Lone Peak 5s.
-I had yet another one, yesterday, as I got a TICKET(warning, no fine this time) from a ranger for offtrail hiking. Grrr.

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Next one is as close as I got to the waterfall before being intercepted, escorted back to the trail, and having to endure a speech about how dangerous that gorge is, and how they have to rescue people from it:rolleyes:
Being my favorite obstacle course is the only reason I drop by there several times per year...
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Last 4 are from the Walls of Jericho.
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Figured I'd see how this went for 3 months.
Over 2500 views, and only 1 participant, so I'm gonna call it quits on this one.
There's a lot of beautiful places to see out there, folks.
See ya! :)
 
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bignc

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Wow- my first time seeing this one! Owen if you post on IG, YT or elsewhere, let us know. I know it’s work to post all this....


Cool stuff. My daughter will come with us occasionally so not ready for super long or treacherous hikes. But we’d love to in a few years when she can stay alone or maybe after she is in college....
 

Owen

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Wow- my first time seeing this one! Owen if you post on IG, YT or elsewhere, let us know. I know it’s work to post all this....
Glad you enjoyed it.

I just have a private Facebook page for friends, family, and coworkers that's almost strictly for sharing outdoor pursuits. Putting a few pics on here is simple enough, but youtube...talk about work(and time to have any kind of following!).
I've made so many tutorials for problems and situations faced by hikers, backpackers, and bike mechanics that I've ended up just deleting, because it's not worth the effort for some anonymous channel that noone would likely look at.
I don't even have a computer, right now; it's all pics from my phone, or downloaded from a P&S camera's built-in WiFi...
 

OwenM

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For whatever reason, my password doesn't work and the site doesn't even recognize my email address, so I registered again under my usual forum username that it wouldn't let me register with way back when(?).
Since I don't want to make fluff posts, I'll just update this thread, which I do kind of enjoy doing, in spite of the lack of participation.
If either of the guys waiting on a PM from me sees this, I'll get with you as soon as PMs start working for this account, or you can email me at: [email protected]

Anyway...
April was mostly a bust, as we're shorthanded at work, and I've been knocking out 72-80hrs/wk.
My only other outing was a return to Sipsey Wilderness here in AL.
The Land of 1000 Waterfalls...got another trip in before it turns into the Land of a Trillion Ticks, which should be its proper name:ironic:

Caney Creek Falls-short dayhike via private property. Great spot, but the sunlight was unforgiving:
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From there, I went to Kinlock Falls, a popular swimming hole in warm weather-also getting hammered by the sun:
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Next was another short dayhike to Parker Falls, which could have easily turned into an overnight hike itself if I'd had my backpack on, as I had a blast exploring further down the gorge:
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LOVE this little spot!
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OwenM

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After hiking back out from the Parker Falls gorge, it was on to the Deer Skull and Wolfpen Falls Loop. The loop is not on the map, but sees regular use, and is easy to get back to when the "trail" disappears.
Due to some confusion between internet sources, I am not entirely sure which named falls is which, plus there are seasonal falls with no names.
I *think* this is Deer Skull Falls:
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Seasonal fall, taken after dark and edited:
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I camped in a narrow section of gorge, where there was a little flat spot between the "trail" and creek.
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The remainder of the loop features several falls and rock shelters just off the route, plus a brief meeting with one of the area's major trails, and the Sipsey Fork itself.

Sipsey Fork
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Some other little falls back up in drainages along the way:
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Celery

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Great shots, Owen! I like all those waterfall shots. I live in the Eastern Sierra in CA and it’s crazy just how different things look across the country.

I also like Lone Peaks — been wearing LPs since the 1.5 (currently wearing 4.5s at work, and have a fresh pair of yellow 5s in the car for running/adventuring). I actually really like the 5s. I had tried a pair of La Sportiva Jackals for a couple months (7mm drop) and my left knee was NOT happy about them. The LS Jackals are incredible quality (as almost all Sportiva shoes), but they just don’t work for me.

I tried a pair of Altra Superior 4s about 6 months ago and was instantly disappointed. They seemed cheap and flimsy, and the aesthetic just seemed... dumb. The quality was so bad, I was skeptical of Altra for a bit, and while the LP 4.5s are pretty good, they do fit a little strange (tight over my arch). But I’m really liking the 5s!

Anyways, inspiring posts dude! I gotta remember to snap some pics when out climbing and running this weekend.
 
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Owen

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Great shots, Owen! I like all those waterfall shots. I live in the Eastern Sierra in CA and it’s crazy just how different things look across the country.

I also like Lone Peaks
Oh, sweet! The Sierras are off the chain gorgeous. I'd love to see your pics!

I had Park Service friends at Yosemite, and got to spend almost 2 weeks around there in fall 2015. Wasn't crowded away from the Valley or main attractions, either. Toulumne to Agnew Meadows through the AA Wilderness, with a hitch out to Mammoth, was my favorite.
Don't know when I'll make it back to CA, but I'd like to get in a trip at SEKI, and another in the Trinity Alps up north.

I think the Lone Peaks are the only Altras currently available in Wide, which I need. Shame, 'cause I love these, and would be happy to try some others.

Bring on the pics!:D
 

Owen

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Hey!!! Pics or it didn't happen!

I guess I could do a monthly update. That's easy for May, since 1 of my 3 off nights this month resulted in ~20hrs of sleep, and I only got out for 2 nights.

-Cheaha Wilderness, AL
Quick in/out with sleep as the top priority, but a beautiful hike.
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'Sup?
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-Cohutta Wilderness, GA.
My 36 planned river crossings got cut to 24 due to impassable deadfalls on a narrow shelf of ridge that I needed to traverse to get off my loop, and up to Jacks River Falls. Flash flooding and 60mph winds there a few weeks ago were probably to blame for that, and trail maintenance is a rarity in wilderness areas...
The crossings are not deep, but there was more flow than during my first 2 trips there(last year). Mostly around knee deep for those, up to maybe 5-6" higher in some places this time.
The Jacks River is an unusual one. It flows from underground, supposedly out of a mountainside, and runs south to north.
The water is nice and cool; wonderful in warm weather.
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Love this campsite. Fire ring, and a little waterfall with a tiny private beach and nice swimming hole above it.
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With warm nights, and highs heading into the 90s, maybe the last of these for a while.
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Celery

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Been a small pita trying to upload pics from my phone... here’s a shot from yesterday on the way to boulders just off the Volcanic Tablelands in the Owens Valley. The lush green in the mid-leftish distance is the Owens River — a welcome habitat in an otherwise hot, arid high desert valley (I’m at 4,400’).

Hopefully this works. (Also, HDS featured in pic)

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Owen

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Owens River in Owens Valley? Sounds like I'd fit right in there!:D
I'm from Alabama, so also get a kick out of Dixie National Forest being in Utah, my favorite state.
 

Celery

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Owens River in Owens Valley? Sounds like I'd fit right in there!:D
I'm from Alabama, so also get a kick out of Dixie National Forest being in Utah, my favorite state.
Lol!! Yea it didn’t occur to me until that last post.
 

Owen

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Hey, your pic's showing up!
One of the things I love about going out West is that it's so different from the SE. Almost everywhere within reasonable driving distance of me is practically 100% tree cover.
We've got the greenery, and lots of flowing water, but 360° scenery and mountain views require some travel!
 

Owen

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Way too much fun this week not to share.
I was headed to Big South Fork in TN, but changed my mind about 2hrs away, and decided to go to the Laurel-Snow State Natural Area/Pocket Wilderness near Dayton, TN, instead.
Having bought a couple hours daylight, I stopped at a nearby pizzeria with a unique little bookstore section for lunch.
The pizza was okayish, but I got a kick out of the books.
There were so many I could fill a page with them.
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Laurel-Snow has two major waterfalls, predictably named Laurel and Snow Falls.
I love the trail to Laurel Falls, which is diverse and beautiful.
It parallels a creek on the way in...
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..then diverges from it, and gains elevation to reach Laurel Falls.
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^^That's the trail, under the boulder:D
Unfortunately, Laurel Falls was barely a trickle.
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At this point, I was having regrets about ditching my BSF plans, and decided against hiking to Snow Falls. Instead, I returned to the TH, and headed north.

Arriving at Big South Fork without a lot of daylight to spare, I dropped by Needle Arch and Needle Point Arch after sunset...
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..and finished hiking to my campsite with my newest light, a Malkoff MDC HA 123 with 4000K SST-20.
After making camp, I played flashlight for a bit, comparing the MDC with a Zebralight SC64w HI.
The rosy and high CRI SST-20 shows greater depth of color, though not always better contrast, than the ZL's 4500K XHP35 HI, which is no slouch, itself.
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It rained all through the night, and in the morning I set out to explore, and search for offtrail arches that I'd screenshotted location pings for.
Getting offtrail to gain several hundred feet of elevation in steep gorges is a lot of work, and dangerous in places, due to obstacles and treacherous footing. It's hard to imagine anything more fun, and the prospect of seeing things that practically noone else does is exhilirating.

Visibility was poor, and it's hard to tell, but this is a triple called Golden Arches, measuring 80x50' total.
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This is Sky High Arch.
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Even when there aren't arches(or ones like the 2 I missed:rolleyes:), the clifflines themselves can be captivating.
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Is that an arch? I must have asked that out loud a couple of dozen times.
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My exit was a drainage that took me down to a creek I waded down until reaching a point I could climb out and return to a trail.
I used the drainage because, except for where there were dropoffs and steep cascades, it was faster, safer, and easier:crackup:
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On the way out, I followed a trail that would take me by Slave Falls, which had doubtless benefitted from the rain, to cap things off.
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Then I drove home and went back to work:ironic:
One of these weeks, I'm gonna take TWO nights off...
 

Owen

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Good thing summer brings longer days.
This week's drive, that was already pushing the limit of my 5hr absolute max, ended up being 7hr 15m due to horrible traffic. Good thing I left straight from work, too! Fortunately, the drive back was 2hrs shorter...

Panthertown Valley, NC is a black bear sanctuary with numerous mapped falls. I dropped by for a dayhike on the way home from somewhere else ~8yrs ago, and had not been there since. I went back with the realistic(but unrealized) hope of seeing some black bears, and the expectation of touring a bunch of waterfalls and exploring above and below them.
Since the bears weren't being sociable, here's some of the waterfalls visited while circumnavigating the "valley".

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I have an overnighter planned that circles around nearby Caesar's Head and Jones Gap SPs in South Carolina, and includes the famous Rim of the Gap Trail. Other than that, hard pass on making that drive for a single overnight hike again:ironic:
 
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