Sprocket and I decided to follow up our hike of Mt. Garfield with an afternoon of cross country skiing on Grand Mesa. Sprocket had missed out on my first cross country ski adventure due to doctors orders so he was still anxious to get outside and play when he saw the snow boots:
He was ON my shoulder the whole way up to the Mesa and when we arrived at the County Line ski parking lot he was all worked up and ready to run!
There were quite a few people leaving the parking lot at the same time and Sprocket was just excited to see people all over the place. He hardly seemed to notice all the skis and poles around (can you believe this is really his first experience with skis of any type??) and was, in typical Sprocket fashion, happy to see people but also happy to take off down the trail in front of the crowd.
Once he figured out what I was doing, he trotted happily in front of me. (And he somehow knew to stay out of the groomed tracks?)
We headed out to a viewpoint, looking south over Delta towards the San Juans. This photo does nothing to show how amazing this view was.
After taking a few photos, Sprocket got impatient and sent his message loud and clear “Mommy, let’s GO”:
In all, we went about six miles before heading back down the Mesa to De Beque.
I think I tired out the puppy.
Friday morning, Sprocket and I headed up to Grand Mesa in the four-wheel drive sleigh to embrace the frosty majesty of the winter landscape and select that most important of Christmas symbols.* The weather was great, I remembered the saw (and the snowshoes that I neglected last year)…
We walked around a bit until we found a tree. I attempted to grab a photo of us and the tree but mostly I just grabbed a cute shot of me and the pup.
We got the tree home and made it the 3Up Christmas Tree 2015:
*I reserve the right to reference “Christmas Vacation” on each and every Christmas tree hunt forever.
After meeting up with Amanda, we adventured in the Bookcliffs and then again on Pinõn Mesa. Since we were right by Colorado National Monument we needed to at least go and do Rim Rock Drive.
I’ve done the drive before but it was a lot of fun to do it with someone who got so excited about the views! Since my iPhone camera did so well with the gorgeousness, it’s going to be awesome to see what Amanda came away with!
We ran down to get gas in Fruita and returned to shadows forming in Monument Valley:
The decision was made to head back down for sunrise and while I’m not a morning person, it’s hard to ever regret spending sunrise in nature:
After sunrise proper, I headed down to Grand Junction and spent some time blogging at Trailhead Coffee (it was a super chill place to hang out for a couple of hours!). Then it was time to head off to Grand Mesa! Unfortunately, Lands End Road was still closed so we had to go up and down the Mesa via Cedaredge instead of making it a loop.
As of last Tuesday (June 2nd) there was still a lot of snow around. Sprocket didn’t mind and gave himself a fantastic snow bath!
The views from the Mesa are always pretty darn fantastic:
Since there was so much snow and only one pair of snowshoes between us, we headed on to the north rim of the Black Canyon. More on that Monday!
After an emotionally charged first week at my new job followed by a fun Paonia based weekend, I got a text from one of my #omniten buddies Josh letting me know that he would be passing through Grand Junction along with Shawn of Teton Sports and Jordan as part of a Teton Sports #yourlead tour.
Happy to see old friends, Sprocket and I loaded up after work on Friday and headed north. After enjoying a pizza at Hot Tomato in Fruita (fresh Palisade peaches, gorgonzola, and rosemary!!!) We all pitched our tents basically on the side of the road, got eaten alive by mosquitoes, and headed for bed. In the morning, we hiked just a short way into McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area enjoying the gorgeous views.
While the guys had to load up and head east for Denver, Sprocket and I decided that the day was young and we were going to go up to Grand Mesa and hike the Mesa County Highpoint. Although Leon Peak was a pretty short and sweet hike, it was Sprocket’s least favorite form of hiking. Big talus boulders do not make this puppy happy!
As always, I can count on him to push through and follow me to the top! He even drooled a bit on the benchmark before I could snap a photo:
Checking out the remains of the old lookout was pretty cool. It was built in 1911 or 1912 but was abandoned after the end of the 1915 season due to heavy lightning activity on the peak.
The views all around were pretty much amazing though. I loved this hike (aside from knowing Sprocket wasn’t really crazy about it).
Distance: Round trip about 2.8 mi
Elevation gain: 600+ feet
Sprocket rating: Not particularly dog friendly. One imaginary thumb down.