"Four Corners" meaning, of course, the desert and canyon country in that unique part of the US and A where four states – Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah – meet at a single point which contains, among other challenges, the Grand Canyon. It's an area I've hiked many times before, but this visit had a special purpose: to give my now "well run-in" hip some REAL exercise!
Following, in more or less chronological order, are some of the sights . . . and hikes!
Bob's June 2004 Four Corners Vacation
Breakfast on the road. Early in the trip: see how clean the rental car is!
Desert vista near Castle Butte in Navajo country. Great terrain to just wander.
First real hike was from Nizhoni Point in Petrified Forest NP. I trekked down the foreground ridge, and along the valley to the left. Very hot (90F+) below the ridge!
I made a side trip in New Mexico to visit CHACO CANYON,
the isolated home of the Chaco Anasazi Culture.
To share the experience, please CLICK HERE.
Spent a few days with dear friends Don and Barbara in SW Colorado. Above is Wolf Creek Pass in the San Juan Mts, where we tried to hike part of the Continental Divide Trail – alas, the snow at 11,000+ feet was still too deep.
On the right, Barbara is doing something creative with artichokes!
Typical Butte formation in Canyonlands, Utah, my next hiking stopover.
Four shots below are part of a 6 hour, 9 mile hike in Canyonlands NP, called Lost Canyon. I'd done it before, and knew it was a tough one, with lots of different challenges for my hip: cliff climbs and descents (some quite technical), slick rock and canyon wall traverses, ins and outs of steep dry washes. Just what I needed!
1. The hot plain from trail-head to about mile 2. Why is it always further on the way back?
2. Slick rock section. Hot but, thankfully, here at least flat.
3. First sight of "Lost Canyon". Before descending, we have to traverse along the ledge to the left.
4. In the valley. Down here, este mucho caliente: circa 90F, and no wind at all.
Sunset in Canyonlands, and the end of a wonderful day's hike. As usual, I camped outside the park (to avoid people): up a dusty back road, in a grove of cottonwood and palo verde trees I'd used before.
In the northern section of Canyonlands, the trails start at the top of a mesa, so you have to go down first, then up on the return. Just like the Grand Canyon. Which I prefer, because I find climbing easier – you'll see why in a moment!
Top of my Taylor Canyon hike. From here on in, it's down, down, down!
Here's the "why", where I started to lose toe-nails! A bad section of the Taylor Canyon trail that's a real toe-stubber!
Time out for FLORA & FAUNA LOVERS! For a look at some of the non-hiking aspects of my trip; please CLICK HERE.
Another spectacular sunset, at Cameron Trading Post in the Navajo Nation.
Left: South Kaibab Trail Head into the Grand Canyon. The Colorado is 4000+ ft below, inside the gorge seen in the centre. The 1000 ft I descended and climbed (nonstop!) here was really the icing-on-the-cake test of a hip already checked out as "A-OK".
Right: About 700 ft down the trail. Bottom left is Cedar Ridge, a flat area serving as a staging point for mules – and tired back-packers!
The spectacular Mokai Dugway, near Mexican Hat, Utah, where a gravel road switchbacks down into the Valley of the Gods.
Part of a do-your-own-navigation hike (no trail) in the Valley of the Gods.
Th-th-th-that's all, folks! Home – to Margaret, Chuck (Hey, I'm home, cat; don't just meow "whad'ya bring me?"), new training shoes, and probably, in a few weeks' time, a new running injury! Hope you enjoyed the show; thanks for staying the course!