Messages in the Rock: Friday Fall Break Finale

Dear Isaac and Maia,

Today was the final day of our day trips to canyons.  The leaves have begun to fall in my yard (big time) and I know once they are cleaned up, that it will turn to the cold, dark months too quickly.  I am so glad I made myself get out on the road trips with the dogs.  I feel strong from carrying 2 disabled dogs so many miles!!!  And, I won’t forget this week for a very long time.  They say to control what you can . . . it is part of happiness.  This week, that is exactly what I did.

Fall Foliage at the East Creek Day Use area, Unaweep Canyon

We were going to do a new hike today – near the petroglyph hike.  We got there and tried to follow the directions.  It was super pretty colors, but the path petered out and Maizzy doesn’t bushwhack that well.  Plus, with Sazi in the roo pouch shirt, I was afraid a branch would snap into her eyes. I miss having Sazi hike but she needs to heal her spinal cord for a few more weeks before we go through rehab, again.  We tried to find the new hike – and we will try, again.  It was suppose to be a super popular trail so I am thinking we just were a little lost.

East Creek Day Use area, Unaweep Canyon

That’s OK, because our old favorite petroglyph hike was only a mile or so away.  So, we did that one.  It is a big climb up the hill off trail to get to the petroglyphs.  I made Maizzy walk because I was afraid I would lose my balance on the loose rocks.  Fortunately, it was cool and she could manage, although she was pretty worn out by the time we made it to the top.  Sazi was in my front pocket carrier, which was probably weird for both of us going up a hill that steep.

The rock ledge where the petroglyphs are found (it is a hike up there)!

We got to the petroglyphs – I always get there in the afternoon, which is the worst time to see them.  And, I always miss a few because of the glare on the rock.  But, it is always fun and interesting to find them, again.

Main petroglyph panel, East Creek, Unaweep Canyon

After we got done seeing those, we hiked up to the Tabeguache trail and looked at all the geographic landmarks.  There was Grand Mesa, Mount Garfield and the Colorado National Monument.  It would be easy to tell which direction you were headed up there.

Stellar Petroglyph in Unaweep Canyon

We came back down another path.  It has gotten way more popular because it was opened up to a jeep group in Grand Junction.  It use to be super hard to find the trailhead, now it is obvious.

Maizzy and me on the Tabeguache trail!

What makes me sad today is that one old Native American rock structures is missing.  I loved that little landmark on the trail.  I always took photos – today, it was just gone.  It was there in March, and now it is just gone.  That makes me feel a sense of loss – and now the trail is a lot less fun.  I don’t know if we will hike it as often in the future.

Before and after the vandalism of the archaeological site in East Creek area of Unaweep Canyon.

I feel that sense of let-down, like the day after Christmas.  I really need more time like this – to get away in nature with my dogs.  I think it is good for them to be out hiking and exploring.  I know why I named Maizzy after you . . . so you could go on all my adventures with me.  I would not want to try to carry both of you in a backpack, though.  It would not end well.

Maizzy, Sazi, and Kachina hike for treats!!!

Here are my favorite photos from each day this week:

Day 1: Dominguez Canyon

Fall colors at the waterfall in Dominguez Canyon

Day 2: Gateway

John Brown’s Canyon near Gateway, CO

Day 3: Devil’s Canyon/McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area

Looking back toward Devil’s Canyon from the Flume Connection trail.

Day 4: Rustler’s Loop/Kokopelli Trail System

Hiking along the Colorado River on Rustler’s Loop, Kokopelli Trails

Day 5: East Creek Petroglyphs/Unaweep Canyon

Fall foliage in East Creek, Unaweep Canyon

I miss you every day!

Love, Grandma Hartt

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