A warm December camp

As of this writing, it seems the snow finally came.

Today’s a cold, wet, and chilly day in Moab. Finally, some actual winter weather!

Otherwise, it’s been warm and unseasonably dry.  When Joan and I went dispersed camping this past weekend, I easily could have had a similar experience in October, minus the fewer daylight hours and early winter light.

This past weekend we did a quick camping trip on Friday and hiked all day Saturday. Later that evening, we spent it with some good friends nearby (by western standards!) in Cortez, CO. An excellent mix of the more isolated places we prefer but some social time we have not experienced as much these past two years due to COVID.

Our dispersed spot gave a commanding view of where we’d hike the following day and not far from Pueblo structures close to a spring.

Though only a mile or so from a paved road, we seemed much more isolated in this seldom-visited area.

The following day we hiked cross-country on paper.  In reality, we encountered old ranching roads, rutted jeep tracks, and seldom left any sign of abandoned travel paths, as is often the case in this area.

We soon reached some towers not readily known, and I last visited in 2018.

The red cliffs, glazed stones, and grand view still impressed. And Joan, never having been here before, understood why I wanted to return.

We hiked back to our waiting campsite and enjoyed the view a bit before heading to Cortez and seeing our friends.

We drove to Cortez and met up with Anna and Willie.  Both former Joan’s colleagues went to Montanna just pre-COVID. And for the past few weeks, they have returned as neighbors. Some good Mexican food within easy walking distance of their home created a relaxing evening. And tastier than our tailgate dinner the previous night!

We made a jaunt up to a pueblo that reminded me of nearby Hovenweep in many ways – Structures on a canyon rim with a spring below.

An apparent social path leads into and out of the canyon. And, as always, seemingly used for centuries.

We took one last looking towards the structures, with Sleeping Ute forming the backdrop.

We said our “farewells” to our friends at the trailhead, and they headed back to Cortez.  Joan and I took the scenic route back to Moab. And saw more indications that our current travel paths only follow ones used long ago.

A panel near the paved road.

It’s the season and time of year for camping. But soon, we’ll head further south and hope to see some places we have not seen in years. And we plan to backpack.

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