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Enough tech talk, go camping


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Returned a few weeks ago from a trip into Utah again, this time hitting a few places that have been on my bucket list for years. Weather was not ideal but we made the best of it, great hikes and adventures with some photos. Thanks for looking.

 

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Boondocking in the San Rafael Reef

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Formation known as the Temple Mount, San Rafael Reef

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View looking southwest to the Henry Mountains and San Rafael Swell & Reef

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Trudi peeking out of Oliver

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Hike in Wild Horse Canyon, San Rafael Reef

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Head of Sinbad Pictograph panel, San Rafael Swell

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Another view of the same panel above

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San Rafael Reef canyon wall, land of the tortured stone

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More tortured stone from San Rafael

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The textures in some of these rock walls is amazing from centuries of weathered torture 😂 via hike in the Little Horse Canyon

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More rock walls from Little Horse Canyon

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Trudi hiking through the slot canyon section of Little Horse Canyon

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More slot canyon views from Little Horse Canyon

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A geologist dream scape I suppose, most slot canyon of the Little Horse

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The Rochester Panel

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Detail from the Rochester Panel

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Nice photos!

I'd send that first shot with your Ollie in to Matt Duncan for possible publication by Oliver.

Those slot canyons are cool too!

Bill

2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Thanks! @topgun2 Might just do that. At one point this slot got so thin we literally had to walk sideways for perhaps a 100 yards and about half way through here comes a pregnant lady with her other two kids on the way out as we were going in. Very tight squeeze at that point but everybody took it in good humor. 

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Beautiful! Make me excited for another trip down that way. Thanks for posting all those great photos.

Kirk

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Kirk and Carrie Peterson

Twin Falls, Idaho

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Elite 2 before the end of 2022!

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22 minutes ago, routlaw said:

Will post a few more later.

We'll look forward to that! Great photos.

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Beautiful photos and just love the title “enough tech talk - go camping”. 👍🏻😎

Thank you for sharing as we are reeeally looking forward to mid western travels.

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1 hour ago, routlaw said:

 

routlaw

Those photos are amazing. Thanks for sharing. Hard to believe the painted objects stayed this long.

What kind of temperature did you encounter there in April?

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Thanks @dewdev and @Patriotto answer the question the temps and weather were unseasonably cooler than normal. We arrived the last week of March and returned around April 4th I think. Night temps were below freezing every night with a couple into the 20's. The highest temp my truck recorded for outside was 61º but that only lasted an hour or so. Most hikes in the 40's to low 50's heat of the day with wind, and in those slot canyons those temps with wind can be cool.

A couple of days it poured rain, buckets and sheets coming down from all directions which kept us off some back roads in the northern part of San Rafael area. I've learned my lesson when it says not passable when wet they are not kidding. We got out of the area where the Sinbad pictographs are just in the nick of time too. The road bed there is very soft deep sand, looking at torrential downpours in our rear view mirror on that one. The pictographs generally represent hunter and gatherer societies, nomads on the move and tend to be roughly 2,000 to 10,000 years old but this particular panel blew us away due to its pristine condition. Petroglyphs are more recent normally considered 700-1400 years old. Sadly many of these ancient archives have been vandalized severely, everything from bullet holes to spray paint. 

Brought shorts, never put them on the entire trip, LOL. 

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1 minute ago, routlaw said:

more recent normally considered 700-1400 years old. Sadly many of these ancient archives have been vandalized severely, everything from bullet holes to spray paint. 

That is so sick, and makes me very sad.

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I hear you @SeaDawg on occasion you can find some of these amazing pieces of rockart in pristine condition but its not usually the case. The thing is it still goes on. If you dig around on the internet for locations normally you'll find post people keeping these a tight secret, under lock and key so to speak and for good reason. The people on this forum I would trust a considerably more and thus provide some general info about where they are, but if posting on Instagram and Facebook I do not provide one hint about there location and that includes even very well known ones such as the Rochester Panel above. 

Thanks

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Also just a quick word about the camera gear sensing that many on this forum have a deep interest in photography to one degree or the other. These photos were taken with either a Nikon Z7 mirrorless, Nikon D810 or my iPhone 13 shooting in RAW and developing in Lightroom then off to Photoshop for final edits. For the iPhone I use either Pro Cam or Halide for the app to capture in RAW, the difference between either of these two and the built in camera is night and day but does require some post production work. Hopefully this will be helpful for those interested.

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Posted (edited)

Adding a few more from the trip mostly from Nine Mile Canyon in the Book Cliffs area. Stayed a couple of nights at the Nine Mile Ranch which is around 7,000 feet elevation and were told we were the first campers as they had just opened for the season. They do have cabins and bed & breakfast facilities here. Very nice people, seems to be well run but you wouldn't mistake it for a 5 Star facility, considerably more rustic than that. No cell service in here and it is NOT nine miles long, nor 9 miles from anything. No idea where the name came from. All BLM land interspersed with private ranch land and very undeveloped. There are no other camping facilities throughout the canyon and apparently pull off camping is discouraged however there are some gravel roads that intersect from the paved canyon road where boodocking is a possibility. The canyon road itself is smooth as a baby's butt, but go slow there are numerous large dips due to flash floods from adjoining creeks should anyone decide to go in here. 

 

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Nine Mile Ranch camground

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View of the Nine Mile Canyon looking west

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Ancient Freemont Culture Village

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Petroglyph

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Detail of Book Cliffs geology and rock formations

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The Big Hunt

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The Big Bison petroglyph

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pictograph

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Larger view of pictograph above with more recent cowboy inclusions

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Known as the Owl petroglyph

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Wild Horse Canyon view

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Large group site in the San Rafael Reef area, not recommended during the weekends. Note the only facility are a few picnic tables and pit toilets. NO WATER anywhere within miles. Bring your own.

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Black Dragon Canyon

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Large Pictograph in Black Dragon Canyon

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Detail from above

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Another detail

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Little Horse Canyon in the slot

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Another long view of the Blue Mountains and San Rafael Swell

Edited by routlaw
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1 hour ago, routlaw said:

Also just a quick word about the camera gear sensing that many on this forum have a deep interest in photography to one degree or the other. These photos were taken with either a Nikon Z7 mirrorless, Nikon D810 or my iPhone 13 shooting in RAW and developing in Lightroom then off to Photoshop for final edits. For the iPhone I use either Pro Cam or Halide for the app to capture in RAW, the difference between either of these two and the built in camera is night and day but does require some post production work. Hopefully this will be helpful for those interested.

Thank you, routlaw, for all the wonderful photos and camera/pp software information.  Are you by chance going to the rally?  Would love to chat with you about photography.

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Great pictures!  I’m motivated for a return trip to Utah.  Our Olivers give us a lot of flexibility on where we can go and where we can camp.  Mike

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3 hours ago, johnwen said:

Thank you, routlaw, for all the wonderful photos and camera/pp software information.  Are you by chance going to the rally?  Would love to chat with you about photography.

Thanks a bunch, glad it was helpful. I will not be able to make it to the rally however. Good luck with your photography endeavors though.

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1 hour ago, Mike and Carol said:

Great pictures!  I’m motivated for a return trip to Utah.  Our Olivers give us a lot of flexibility on where we can go and where we can camp.  Mike

Thanks, and agreed its impossible to get enough of this place. True about the Olivers as well, very easy to get into almost any space and back country roads as long as they don’t too extreme.

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14 hours ago, routlaw said:

Also just a quick word about the camera gear sensing that many on this forum have a deep interest in photography to one degree or the other. These photos were taken with either a Nikon Z7 mirrorless, Nikon D810 or my iPhone 13 shooting in RAW and developing in Lightroom then off to Photoshop for final edits. For the iPhone I use either Pro Cam or Halide for the app to capture in RAW, the difference between either of these two and the built in camera is night and day but does require some post production work. Hopefully this will be helpful for those interested.

Now I see why your pictures are so amazing. 

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13 minutes ago, Mattnan said:

OUTSTANDING!!! Thanks for sharing these photos and your adventure.  You surely inspired some folks to get back out there.

Thanks really appreciate it. Get out there is what its all about too.

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8 hours ago, Boonter Jeff said:

Wonderful pictures.  Amazing rock art!

 

Thanks! They are amazing indeed and there are literally thousands of these artifacts in the 4 corners region. 

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Great photos from a cool zone. How was the road into the Black Dragon Canyon? Would a high clearance RWD van make it in there?

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

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1 hour ago, Jim_Oker said:

Great photos from a cool zone. How was the road into the Black Dragon Canyon? Would a high clearance RWD van make it in there?

Jim we only drove in part of the way, then parked and hiked the rest. After parking some parts of the road were a bit rough even for high clearance vehicles. I suppose you could say it was a mixed bag. We only saw one other hiker lady who had parked her Sprinter Van further back up the road and another gal who was running the Jeep trail. From the highway (I-70) it was a few miles of basic soft dirt road driving until you arrive at the canyon mouth. 

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Such a beautiful part of the country.  Camped on the south side of 70 a few years ago and did some long gravel rides on the north side.  Returning is definitely on the list!

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MaryBeth
Boulder, CO

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