Utah Navajo Fair Parade 2014

Utah Navajo Fair Parade- San Juan County, Utah 2014

Utah Navajo Fair Parade- San Juan County, Utah 2014

The parade at the Utah Navajo Fair in Bluff is definitely my favorite San Juan County parade.  First of all, the weather in Bluff in mid-September is PERFECT!  And now that I’m a mom (of a child with severe food allergies) I’ve started to take note of what they pass out at the parades we go to.  In the past two years at the Utah Navajo Fair, not only do they give out tons of candy, but we’ve also come home with a lot of non-candy items like apples, bananas, plums, popcorn balls, bottled water, books, small toys, etc.  When your child can’t eat 99% of the popular brands of candy, it’s VERY appreciated when there are non-candy items at parades! :)

The parade is on the main street in Bluff, which is Hwy. 191.  If you look at a map of the town, there is no way to detour around it with the current parade route, so it completely stops north and southbound traffic for about two hours.

Probably at least once each summer since I’ve worked here, I’ve received calls on our toll-free visitor information line asking what day the parade will be, or what time it will be starting.  Each time I’ve been asked this, it hasn’t been from someone who is planning to attend the parade, but from someone who will be traveling through the area and wants to make sure they make it through Bluff before the parade starts.  All of these people will tell me the story of the first time they came across the parade, and of course, they will tell me how LONG the wait was.

So here’s your warning!  Of course I’d recommend you should attend the parade, but if you aren’t planning to attend and you’ll be passing through Bluff the 2nd weekend of September, be sure to either make it through Bluff by about 9:30am, or don’t try to drive through until about noon!

Utah Navajo Fair Parade 2014- San Juan County, UT

Utah Navajo Fair Parade 2014- San Juan County, UT

We left for Bluff at about 8:30am hoping to get there early enough to find a decent place to park close to where we were supposed to meet our friends.  We made it there in time, and drove about half the parade route before we got to the area where we were supposed to meet up.  It was packed!  Many people pull their vehicles off the main road and then back up to the edge of the pavement and sit in the backs of their trucks to watch the parade, so aside from driveways, the road through town is pretty much completely lined with vehicles.

Utah Navajo Fair 2014- Bluff- San Juan County, UT

Utah Navajo Fair 2014- Bluff- San Juan County, UT

Utah Navajo Fair 2014- Bluff- San Juan County, UT

Utah Navajo Fair 2014- Bluff- San Juan County, UT

Utah Navajo Fair 2014- Bluff- San Juan County, UT

Utah Navajo Fair 2014- Bluff- San Juan County, UT

Utah Navajo Fair 2014- Bluff- San Juan County, UT

Utah Navajo Fair 2014- Bluff- San Juan County, UT

Utah Navajo Fair 2014- Bluff- San Juan County, UT

Utah Navajo Fair 2014- Bluff- San Juan County, UT

Utah Navajo Fair 2014- Bluff- San Juan County, UT

Utah Navajo Fair 2014- Bluff- San Juan County, UT

Utah Navajo Fair 2014- Bluff- San Juan County, UT

Utah Navajo Fair 2014- Bluff- San Juan County, UT

Utah Navajo Fair 2014- Bluff- San Juan County, UT

Utah Navajo Fair 2014- Bluff- San Juan County, UT

The majority of parade entries this year seemed to be; motorcycles, horses, pageant royalty, and campaign floats.  There really weren’t very many actual ‘floats’, but for me it’s all about my son’s enjoyment and I have a feeling that kids don’t care if they’re getting candy and toys from a political candidate, or from a decorated float- they’re just happy to be getting CANDY!

This was my son’s 3rd parade this summer.  We went to the 4th of July parade in Telluride, CO and the Pioneer Day Parade a few weeks later in Monticello, but it wasn’t until this parade that he really ‘got it’.  Here are a couple pictures from those parades…

Telluride 4th of July Parade 2014

Telluride 4th of July Parade 2014

Monticello Pioneer Day Parade- 2014

Monticello Pioneer Day Parade- 2014

Based on how much he talked about them afterwards, I know he always enjoyed himself, but being his first parades, maybe they were just a little overwhelming?  But at the parade in Bluff he finally ‘got’ the candy thing.

Utah Navajo Fair 2014- Bluff- San Juan County, UT

Utah Navajo Fair 2014- Bluff- San Juan County, UT

I taught him to wave at the people in the parade so they’d throw candy to him, and he stood right on the white line with his hands ‘ready’.  And of course, he got really excited every time candy was thrown in his direction!  He did great for a 2-year old- he got more than a quart sized ziplock full of candy, plus some fruit, some small toys, a bottle of water, and a balloon!  Not bad!

After the parade was over, we decided to let traffic die down a little and so we walked over to the Bluff Fort.  I hadn’t been there in almost a year- not since their dedication ceremony, (Read my blog entry on the Bluff Fort Dedication Ceremony HERE) and if you follow this blog, I’m sure you can guess why I wanted to go to the Bluff Fort.  Yep, I needed to get my zucchini cookie & toffee fix!  They have some awesome baked goods at the Bluff Fort!

Bluff Fort- San Juan County, UT

Bluff Fort- San Juan County, UT

Bluff Fort- San Juan County, UT

Bluff Fort- San Juan County, UT

Bluff Fort- San Juan County, UT

Bluff Fort- San Juan County, UT

There was a new addition to the Bluff Fort since my last visit- in a grassy patch under a big tree, they had little wooden horses for kids to play on!  There was a line of three horses, a rope, and two wooden cows about 8 feet away for the kids to practice roping on.  They also had two wooden boxes nearby labeled ‘Cowboy Clothes’ and ‘Cowgirl Clothes’. Of course, my son refused to wear any of them, but I thought it was such a cute idea!

I have to say, I might have been even more excited about it than my son was! If you read my last blog entry on the Ranch Roping competition we had in Monticello a couple months ago, you’ll know about my ongoing obsession with learning to rope.  It was really funny because right after I posted that blog entry, I went to a yard sale and found a steer head for $1!!  My husband mounted it for me and a couple weeks ago my coworker lent me a rope and her husband came over and gave me roping lesson!  The first thing I learned was the the steer head was much too large to start with, so he had me start with a bucket until I could learn how to keep my loop open.  It’s been just over a month now and let’s just say that I’ve improved.

Roping Lessons

Roping Lessons

I am now good enough to rope the steer head from about 15 feet 85% of the time or so.  I’m sure when I have my next lesson I’ll find out that I’m doing everything wrong, and I’ll be right back at square one, but for now, I’m happy with my progress.  :)

The Bluff Fort is a great, free, family-friendly stop when visiting Bluff.  If you happen to be visiting on a Friday, be sure to check out ‘Friday Night at the Fort’.  From mid-spring through the fall, each Friday evening they bring in different local entertainment; musicians, storytellers, historians, etc., and put on a free performance.  It’s been a very popular event, so I’d definitely recommend checking it out!

Distance from Bluff to lodging in San Juan County, Utah:

For more information or to request travel brochures, please call Utah’s Canyon Country at: 800-574-4386

Or e-mail us at: info@utahscanyoncountry.com

 

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San Juan Ranch Roping in Monticello

San Juan Ranch Roping 2014- Monticello, UT

San Juan Ranch Roping 2014- Monticello, UT

The annual San Juan Ranch Roping & Ranch Horse Sale was held this past week at the fairgrounds in Monticello.  If you’re into rodeo events, this is a great, FREE event that’s always a lot of fun to go watch.

I didn’t realize until I was starting this blog entry that I actually already did an entry on the Ranch Roping event several years ago, but looking back I see that it was mostly just pictures and I didn’t explain the rules, so I’ll take this chance to try to explain (my version of) how ranch roping works.

San Juan Ranch Roping 2014- Monticello, UT

San Juan Ranch Roping 2014- Monticello, UT

At the beginning of each competition, they always gather all the riders to go over the rules.  The basics of ranch roping are that each team of 3 has a set amount of time to rope a cow.  When they pass a certain point in the arena, the announcer will call out the number of the cow that they have to rope.

First the head…

San Juan Ranch Roping 2014- Monticello, UT

San Juan Ranch Roping 2014- Monticello, UT

San Juan Ranch Roping 2014- Monticello, UT

San Juan Ranch Roping 2014- Monticello, UT

Then a back leg…

San Juan Ranch Roping 2014- Monticello, UT

San Juan Ranch Roping 2014- Monticello, UT

San Juan Ranch Roping 2014- Monticello, UT

San Juan Ranch Roping 2014- Monticello, UT

San Juan Ranch Roping 2014- Monticello, UT

San Juan Ranch Roping 2014- Monticello, UT

Once the head and a back leg have been roped by the first two team members, the third member has to get off their horse and get the cow to the ground…

San Juan Ranch Roping 2014- Monticello, UT

San Juan Ranch Roping 2014- Monticello, UT

After it’s down on the ground they have to move the rope that’s around the cow’s head to the two front legs, and then get the rope that’s around one of the back legs around both.  After all that is done, they have to get back on their horse as quickly as possible.

San Juan Ranch Roping 2014- Monticello, UT

San Juan Ranch Roping 2014- Monticello, UT

San Juan Ranch Roping 2014- Monticello, UT

San Juan Ranch Roping 2014- Monticello, UT

San Juan Ranch Roping- Monticello, UT

San Juan Ranch Roping 2014- Monticello, UT

There are lots of other rules and of course, all of this has to be done within a certain amount of time too, but that’s the basic outline of how it works.  I hope I’m not making it sound overly simple, because I’m sure it’s not!

My first attempt at roping

My first attempt at roping

I was at a BBQ a few years ago and someone had brought one of those plastic steer heads for roping practice.  I love that kind hand-eye-coordination stuff, so of course I asked if he’d teach me how to do it.  It took me a few tries, but I roped it!  For about a year after that I was telling my husband that I wanted a steer head and a rope to practice with, but I never did get one.  Every time I go watch ranch roping it reminds me of how fun it was and I start looking at them online again!  (My Birthday is coming up, so let’s see if my husband actually reads my blog!)

Distance from Monticello to lodging in San Juan County, Utah:

For more information or to request travel brochures, please call Utah’s Canyon Country at: 800-574-4386

Or e-mail us at: info@utahscanyoncountry.com

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Golf Lessons at the Hideout Golf Club

My son 'playing golf' at the Hideout Golf Club- Monticello, UT

My son ‘playing golf’ at the Hideout Golf Club- Monticello, UT

No, I haven’t signed my son up for golf lessons… yet!  This picture was just way too cute not to share!  Actually I’m the one who took the lesson!  I think my family and friends were all shocked when I told them that I was going to do it.  Maybe because I’ve never shown any kind of interest in learning how to play, but I’ve actually been thinking about it for a while now.  The Hideout Golf Club has been included on several lists for the best golf courses, both in the state and in the country.  It was named #5 in Golfweek’s 2012 Best Golf Courses State by State and #17 in Golfweek Magazine’s 50 2012 Best Municipal Golf Courses in the US.  So I’ve been thinking that as long as I live here in Monticello, if I’m EVER going to learn how to play golf, this would be the perfect time.

I convinced my husband that we should take lessons together, and he was on board, but then got caught up in a fence project at our house and I didn’t want to wait for him to finish before taking the lesson, so I took the first one on my own.  Plus, my husband has played a little, so we thought maybe he could skip the first couple lessons until I was a little closer to his level.

Golf Lessons at the Hideout Golf Club- Monticello- UT

Golf Lessons at the Hideout Golf Club- Monticello- UT

I met with the Pro, Tyler, and we headed straight down to the driving range to get started.  Within minutes of starting the lesson I was pretty sure that my husband didn’t know half of what Tyler was telling me!  (No offense Silas- it was just really technical!)  First of all, just learning how to grip the club correctly was much more complicated than I would have thought!  I played volleyball in jr high and high school, and I’m really into hand-eye coordination games; pool, darts, ping pong, cornhole (bean bag toss), lawn darts, etc.- pretty much anything where you stand in one spot and throw or hit something, so it’s not like I’m one of those uncoordinated people who doesn’t know how to throw or catch a ball.  But right away with golf, it seemed like there was so much more going on.

Golf Lessons at the Hideout Golf Club- Monticello- UT

Golf Lessons at the Hideout Golf Club- Monticello- UT

Finally it was time for me to hit the ball.  I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure that I swung and totally missed the ball on my first try.  And my second.  Tyler finally had pity on me and let me hit off a tee.  Much better!  At least I made contact with the ball that way!  It took me a little while, but I did get a few swings where I made good contact with the ball and got some air.  It felt SO good to hit it well!  And of course it continued to be humiliating when I’d swing and miss the ball completely!  But either way, it was fun!  The lesson went by so fast, I really wasn’t ready for it to be over!  All I could think about was getting back out there and practicing!

Hideout Golf Club- Monticello, UT

Hideout Golf Club- Monticello, UT

I had taken my lesson on a Friday, and on Saturday evening I dragged my family back out there to practice!  My husband and I got clubs (well, actually it was just one club- I had only practiced with the #7, so that was the only one I used) at the pro shop, jumped in a golf cart, and headed back down to the driving range.

Hideout Golf Club- Monticello, UT

Hideout Golf Club- Monticello, UT

I’m not sure if it was the fact that my son was talking (and yelling!) most of the time, that he kept walking towards me and I was only half able to concentrate on my swing, or that Tyler wasn’t there telling me how to stand and what to do, but it seemed much, MUCH harder this time!  It also didn’t help that my husband seemed to have no problem hitting the ball.  Grrr… don’t you hate that?!  You think you’re learning something and your self-taught husband who isn’t even holding the club right, comes along and upstages you!  This is off the topic, but it reminds me of a BBQ we were at a few years ago… someone had brought one of those steer heads on a bale of hay for roping practice and I really wanted to learn how to do it, so I listened to the guy’s instructions, tried a few times, and roped it on my 6th or 7th try.  I was so excited I decided I should end on a good note, so I let my husband try.  He got it on his first try.  Of course.  But back to golfing….

Hideout Golf Club- Monticello-UT

Hideout Golf Club- Monticello-UT

Hideout Golf Club- Monticello-UT

Hideout Golf Club- Monticello-UT

As you can see in the pictures, it was such a beautiful day to be out on the driving range!  I doubt my golf swing improved at all, in fact, I think it might have gotten worse without Tyler there to correct me.  But we had fun and that’s what it’s all about, right?!  Writing this post has made want to get back out there and practice again!  I really never thought I’d get the golf bug, but I just might have!

Distance from the Hideout Golf Club to lodging in San Juan County, Utah:

For more information or to request travel brochures, please call Utah’s Canyon Country at: 800-574-4386

Or e-mail us at: info@utahscanyoncountry.com

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3 Step Hideaway Bed & Breakfast- La Sal, Utah

3 Step Hideaway- La Sal, Utah

3 Step Hideaway- La Sal, Utah

A few weeks ago was the grand opening of San Juan County’s newest lodging property- 3 Step Hideaway.  The owners, Scott & Julie Stevenson, hosted an Open House and invited the public to come out and take a look at their unique new Bed & Breakfast located on Lisbon Valley Road near La Sal.

It wasn’t nearly as hard as usual to convince my husband to go to the open house with me.  I’m guessing this was because of the free lunch that was advertised in the newspaper and the fact that some of our friends know the owners and were panning on going too.  As everything is for us these days, our day was planned around our son’s nap time, so we decided to head out with hopes of arriving not too long after the Open House was scheduled to begin.  I contacted the owners by e-mail and they gave me detailed directions that covered all three directions that visitors might be traveling from when driving to their place; Moab, Dove Creek, or Monticello.

The 3 Step Hideaway is located about 30 miles northeast of Monticello.  I’d only been out in that area twice before, but had never stopped anywhere along the road, so I was only vaguely familiar with the area.  I was thinking that it was going to be quite a drive out there, but I timed our drive and I think it only took us about 35 minutes from Monticello- not bad!

3 Step Hideaway, La Sal, UT

3 Step Hideaway, La Sal, UT

3 Step Hideaway- La Sal, UT

Friendly Greeter at 3 Step Hideaway- La Sal, UT

When we arrived we could tell that there was already quite the party going on!  There were probably 5-7 motorcycles lined up in front of the Cantina, and a whole line of cars beyond that.  We parked and as we walked up to the Cantina, we received a friendly greeting from the resident dog.  My son LOVES dogs… from a distance.  We have 2 cats, so he’s used to them, but I think he’s still trying to decide how he feels about dogs.  He loves to watch them, but when they get up close and there’s the possibility of getting licked, I think he’s not so sure anymore!

3 Step Hideaway- La Sal, UT

Cantina at the 3 Step Hideaway- La Sal, UT

3Step Hideaway- La Sal, UT

Cantina at the 3 Step Hideaway- La Sal, UT

We entered the Cantina- the indoor common area with a sitting area around the wood stove, several tall tables, and a bar, and were greeted again- this time by one of the owners, Scott who told us a little about the place and told us to help ourselves to lunch and to feel free to take a look around.   It was our first warm day here and it seemed really hot outside, but it was nice and cool in the Cantina so we hung out in there for a few minutes before heading out to look around.

Open House Cook-out- 3 Step Hideaway- La Sal, UT

Open House Cook-out- 3 Step Hideaway- La Sal, UT

Live Music! 3 Step Hideaway- La Sal, UT

Live Music! 3 Step Hideaway- La Sal, UT

Stepping out the back door of the Cantina, puts you into the center of the property.  A firepit, an outdoor bar area, and picnic tables are in the center, circled by the cabins and two teepees.  When we arrived there were quite a few people already sitting at the tables eating lunch and milling around checking out the cabins and teepees.  We started with lunch and got more than our fill, before beginning our tour of the cabins.

Big Bear Cabin- 3 Step Hideaway- La Sal, UT

Family Cabin- 3 Step Hideaway- La Sal, UT

View from the Porch of the Big Bear Cabin- 3 Step Hideaway- La Sal, UT

View from the Porch of the Family Cabin- 3 Step Hideaway- La Sal, UT

Kitchen of the Big Bear Cabin- 3 Step Hideaway- La Sal, UT

Kitchen of the Family Cabin- 3 Step Hideaway- La Sal, UT

The first cabin we looked at was the Family Cabin- the largest cabin available to stay in.  It was beautiful- it has a huge wrap-around porch for taking in the views to the east.  I could imagine myself sitting on the porch with my coffee watching the sunrise!  As much as I loved the porch, I think the kitchen may have actually been my favorite thing about the Family Cabin.  Not that I ever want to be doing any kind of major cooking while on vacation, but it really was a beautiful kitchen!

General Store- 3 Step Hideaway- La Sal, UT

Trading Post- 3 Step Hideaway- La Sal, UT

Trading Post- 3 Step Hideaway- La Sal, UT

Trading Post- 3 Step Hideaway- La Sal, UT

Our next stop was the Trading Post which had an assortment of drinks and snacks available to purchase.

3 Step Hideaway, La Sal, UT

Wooden Walkway- 3 Step Hideaway, La Sal, UT

Homestead Cabin- 3 Step Hideaway- La Sal, UT

Homestead Cabin- 3 Step Hideaway- La Sal, UT

Homestead Cabin- 3 Step Hideaway- La Sal, UT

Homestead Cabin- 3 Step Hideaway- La Sal, UT

Homestead Cabin- 3 Step Hideaway- La Sal, UT

We continued on to the Homestead Cabin- a cabin that is one of the original structures on the property that has been refurbished.  Again, it was a beautiful cabin that I could definitely see myself staying in!  I loved how parts of the original structure were left exposed to give you a feel for the homestead that was first established on the site.

I guess I should mention here that I didn’t take as many pictures of the insides of the cabins as I normally would have because there were actually guests staying in several of them.  Since they were having the Open House, I’m guessing they must have told everyone who was staying there that people would be touring the cabins, but since there were people there, all of their belongings were there too, so I didn’t take too many pictures.  I had already looked at their website, which has great pictures, so I figured I could just provide links to each of the cabins so that you could take a look at the pictures on there.

3 Step Hideaway, La Sal, UT

Rustic Cabins- 3 Step Hideaway, La Sal, UT

3 Step Hideaway, La Sal, UT

3 Step Hideaway, La Sal, UT

3 Step Hideaway, La Sal, UT

Rustic Cabins- 3 Step Hideaway, La Sal, UT

3 Step Hideaway, La Sal, UT

Rustic Cabins- 3 Step Hideaway, La Sal, UT

The next cabins we looked at were the three Rustic Cabins.  To quote their website, these cabins are ‘designed to accommodate the more adventurous spirit‘.  The Rustic Cabins do not have electricity or running water, but they have a wood stove, sink, and composting toilet.  ‘His’ and ‘Hers’ bathrooms with showers are located in the nearby Bath House.

I think these might have been my favorite cabins.  While the larger ones were absolutely beautiful, the Rustic Cabins had a really authentic feel to them.  With no electricity, it kind of gives you the feel of roughing it, but you still have a wood stove for heat, a toilet in your cabin, and the Bath House nearby!

3 Step Hideaway, La Sal, UT

Tepee at the 3 Step Hideaway, La Sal, UT

Last but not least, for the even more adventurous spirit, there are two tepees available to stay in!  I loved camping when I was a kid (actually, I liked sleeping in a tent in our yard, but hated actually going camping since it usually involved hiking, which I really hated!) so I think I would have loved to have spent the night in a teepee!  The two tepees at 3 Step Hideaway are each equipped with 4 cots and a floor covering, and are also located near the Bath House.  (*Please be sure to look at the interior pictures of the tepees on the 3 Step Hideaway website!  My pictures didn’t do them justice, but they have great pictures on their website!)

3 Step Hideaway, La Sal, UT

3 Step Hideaway, La Sal, UT

One of the first things I noticed when we arrived at the 3 Step Hideaway was how many motorcycles were there.  I talked with a couple of the riders who were staying there and they told me that the Trans America Trail runs right past the entrance to the 3 Step Hideaway.  You would think that since I work in the County Visitor Services office, I would know about this trail, but this was the first I’d ever heard of it.  Turns out that the Trans American Trail is a 5,000 mile, mostly off-pavement, dual-sport motorcycle ride from Southeastern Tennessee to the Pacific Coast in Oregon that comes right through our area.  Once I’d heard about this trail, it made perfect sense that there were so many motorcyclists staying there!

One of the riders I met was a man from New York who said that he and his wife ride a part of the trail for a week or two each year, then just leave their motorcycles in storage wherever they end up.  When they have vacation time again, they just come back to that spot, get their motorcycles, and pick up the trail again from there.  Sounds like a great way to do a cross-country trip, especially if you’ve got limited time.  That way you can just pick up from wherever you left off and you don’t have to spend half your time driving back home!

We really enjoyed our visit out to the 3 Step Hideaway, it’s a unique place that I think a lot of people will really enjoy, especially those who are interested in the old west.  You definitely get that old west feel while you’re there, but with all the modern conveniences.  Before we left, we were already planning our next visit- to try their ‘Cowboy-style’ supper that they cook outdoors every night!  I plan to blog about it when we go, so be sure to check back!

For more information or to request travel brochures, please call Utah’s Canyon Country at: 800-574-4386

Or e-mail us at: info@utahscanyoncountry.com

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Nations of the Four Corners

Nations of the Four Corners

Nations of the Four Corners- Blanding, UT

This past fall my husband and I visited the Nations of the Four Corners in Blanding for the first time.  I’d been hearing about this place for a while, but really didn’t know much about it, but after a quick call to the Blanding Visitor Center, that confirmed that there ARE several miles of hiking trails there, we decided to head down to Blanding to check it out.

The most recent version of the popular, ‘Trails of the Ancients’ brochure includes a map for Nations of the Four Corners.  I wish I had had a copy of this with me when I visited, because, as far as I saw, there aren’t any trail maps available at the trailhead.  I DID, however, take a picture of the map at the trailhead… this is my husband’s and my trick for not buying maps… we just take a picture of the map then you can zoom in on whatever area you need to look at.  It works great… as long as your camera battery doesn’t die… :)

Nations of the Four Corners Brochure

Nations of the Four Corners Brochure

Nations of the Four Corners Map

Nations of the Four Corners Map- Blanding, UT

The fact that there are so many interconnecting trails makes it a little difficult to keep track of where you’re at so if you’re planning to visit, I would recommend stopping at the Blanding Visitor Center or Edge of the Cedars State Park & Museum and picking up the ‘Trail of the Ancients’ brochure.

Nations of the Four Corners

Nations of the Four Corners- Blanding, UT

Nations of the Four Corners

Nations of the Four Corners- Blanding, UT

Nations of the Four Corners is made up of sites representing the different groups that contributed to the history of this area; Ute, Navajo, Hispanic, and Pioneer.

Nations of the Four Corners

Inside a Hogan at Nations of the Four Corners- Blanding, UT

I think the Navajo Hogan site was my favorite.  The day we went was fairly cool, but I can imagine that it would be a great break from the sun on a hot day!

Nations of the Four Corners

Pioneer Site- Nations of the Four Corners- Blanding, UT

Nations of the Four Corners

Hispanic Site- Nations of the Four Corners- Blanding, UT

Nations of the Four Corners

Dine (Navajo) Site- Nations of the Four Corners- Blanding, UT

Nations of the Four Corners

Nations of the Four Corners- Blanding, UT

The hiking trail was really nice- my husband and I both kept saying that we wish there was something like this in Monticello- a great hiking trail that has the feel of being out in the middle of nowhere, but it’s right on the edge of town.  It seemed to be very well maintained, and like I was saying earlier, lots of interconnecting trails that allow you to make your hike any length you want.

Nations of the Four Corners

Nations of the Four Corners- Blanding, UT

Nations of the Four Corners

Nations of the Four Corners- Blanding, UT

We finally made it to the observation tower in the center of the area.  The view was great from the top!

Nations of the Four Corners

Nations of the Four Corners- Blanding, UT

Nations of the Four Corners

View of the Sleeping Ute from the Top of the Tower at Nations of the Four Corners- Blanding, UT

When I originally started writing this blog entry and was looking at the map in the Trails of the Ancients brochure, I noticed that there was an arch along one of the trails that I hadn’t noticed before we went.  So we made another trip down there a few weeks later to check it out along with the Nations Natural Bridge near Westwater Ruin, which is actually connected to the Nations of the Four Corners by hiking trails that follow Westwater Canyon.

Prayer Arch- Nations of the Four Corners

Prayer Arch- Nations of the Four Corners- Blanding, UT

Prayer Arch- Nations of the Four Corners- Blanding, UT

Prayer Arch is a little hard to see unless you get directly underneath or above it.  But once you do, there’s no mistaking it- it’s definitely an arch!

Prayer Arch- Nations of the Four Corners- Blanding, UT

After we finished at Prayer Arch, we drove about 5 minutes to the Westwater Canyon Ruin road.  Just before reaching the end of the road where the ruins are located, we stopped at a small turnout with a sign marking the Nations Natural Bridge that’s directly across the canyon.  Although you can see the bridge from the road and pull-out, it took us a while to find the trail to get to it.  We parked at the sign for the bridge but the trail doesn’t actually start there, so I think that’s what threw us off.  Once we found the trail though, it was a very quick and easy hike down one side of the canyon and up the other.

Natural Bridge near Westwater Ruins- Blanding, UT

Nations Natural Bridge near Westwater Ruins- Blanding, UT

I was too scared to actually walk across the Bridge, but my husband wasn’t…  It’s very wide and I’m sure it’s (fairly) safe, but I just couldn’t bring myself to to it!

Nations of the Four Corners is definitely worth the stop!  It’s a great place for a quick hike, or you could make it into a 5+ mile hike if you start at the main site and hike all the way out to Westwater Ruin and Nations Natural Bridge.

Directions:

Nations of the Four Corners: From Hwy 191 head west on 500 South until the road ends where it meets 700 West.  You will see a parking area and a kiosk where the trailhead starts.

Westwater Ruin:  On the south end of Blanding, turn west on Ruins Road.  At the end of this road you will see Westwater Ruin.  Just before the end of the road on the west side you will see a small pull-out and a sign marking the bridge.

Distance from Edge of the Cedars to lodging in San Juan County, Utah:

For more information or to request travel brochures, please call Utah’s Canyon Country at: 800-574-4386

Or e-mail us at: info@utahscanyoncountry.com

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Bluff Fort Co-Op Store Dedication

Bluff Fort Co-Op Store Dedication

Bluff Fort Co-Op Store Dedication

This past weekend my husband, son, and I headed down to Bluff for the dedication ceremony for the new Co-Op Store at the Bluff Fort.  The Co-Op store was actually finished in the spring and officially opened to the public in mid-May.  I have to admit- ever since I heard that the dedication was going to be in October, I’ve been wondering why they were waiting until then to do it when the Co-op was already open.  As I started writing this blog entry and looked back at my previous entry about the ground breaking, it finally hit me- the dedication ceremony was held 2 years to the day after the ground breaking!  Looking back at my pictures from the ground breaking I can’t stop thinking about how much they’ve accomplished in just two years- it really is amazing!

Bluff Elementary Students at the Ground Breaking Ceremony at the Bluff Fort

Ground Breaking Ceremony at the Bluff Fort- October 12, 2011

Ground Breaking Ceremony at the Bluff Fort

Ground Breaking Ceremony at the Bluff Fort- October 12, 2011

This summer the Bluff Fort started an evening program called, ‘Friday Night at the Fort’ where each week a different musician or storyteller performed upstairs in the new Co-Op building.  I really wanted to go to one of the performances, but there was no way I was going to disrupt my little guy’s bedtime, (sleep- both his and ours, is WAY too important to me!)  so I never made it down.  Maybe next year…  But when I heard that the dedication ceremony was going to be in the morning, AND that they were going to be serving breakfast (pioneer Johnny cakes, bacon, eggs, and melon) I knew I’d be able to I talk my husband into making the trip down to check it out!

Bluff Fort Co-Op Store Dedication

Some of the cabins at the Bluff Fort with the new Co-Op Store in the background

Bluff Fort Co-Op Store Dedication

My son’s favorite part of the Fort… the holes in the benches with water in them!

Bluff Fort Co-Op Store Dedication

Not as interested in the covered wagon as I thought he’d be…

Bluff Fort Co-Op Store Dedication

Playing with the wagon wheels

We arrived at the Fort about 30 minutes before the Dedication Ceremony was supposed to start and with plenty of time for breakfast, or so we thought…  The schedules I had seen all said that the breakfast was going to be served up until the ceremony started, but when we got there, it was over!  :(  Oops.  As always, the promise of food was what I had used to get my husband to agree to go, and we had missed it!  Luckily, when we were passing through Blanding on our way down, we had seen that Lickity Split was open, so we had stopped in and picked up a couple of their DELICIOUS fresh cinnamon rolls to go.  Whew- crisis averted!

So instead of eating breakfast, we walked around the Fort a little waiting for the ceremony to start.  My husband had never been there before so we checked out all the cabins and let our little guy explore a little.  (*Yes- he’s wearing a Red Sox jacket and Yankees pants… there’s a major rivalry going on between one of his grandmas and grandpas!)

Co-Op Store Dedication Ceremony at the Bluff Fort

Co-Op Store Dedication Ceremony at the Bluff Fort

Co-Op Store Dedication Ceremony at the Bluff Fort

Co-Op Store Dedication Ceremony at the Bluff Fort

By the time the ceremony started, the place was packed!  The local newspaper had said to BYOC (Bring Your Own Chair) and I could see why- there really was a great turnout- no wonder they ran out of food early!  We had forgotten our chairs that morning, but we figured that with our little guy, we’d probably be better off standing in the back anyway.

There were several speakers including a local historian who gave the history of the Co-Op Store.  Here’s a quick overview from my last blog entry on the Bluff Fort: The Co-Op Store was built in 1889 and by the early 1900s, the co-op was the heart of the community providing a means for buying, selling, and trading.  Unfortunately, the co-op was blown up in 1925 during an attempted robbery.  The robber, a newly hired employee who is known by the alias of Fred Starr, used too much dynamite when attempting to break into the safe, and blew up both himself and the store. (For more information on the rest of the Fort- please see my blog entry: Bluff Fort Historic Site)

Bluff Fort Co-Op Store Dedicantion

Historic Photographs in the Bluff Fort Co-Op Store

Bluff Fort Co-Op Store Dedicantion

Bluff Fort Co-Op Store

Bluff Fort Co-Op Store Dedicantion

Bluff Fort Co-Op Store

Bluff Fort Co-Op Store Dedicantion

Bluff Fort Co-Op Store

When the ceremony was over, we FINALLY got to check out the new Co-Op Store.  I was totally blown away- it’s amazing!  I had seen a few pictures, but it was really so much more than I had imagined.  And it was packed!  My #1 priority was to find the lemon zucchini cookies that they sell there.  I don’t think I mentioned it in my blog entry about the ground breaking ceremony, but the thing that stands out in my mind the most about that day was the DELICIOUS cookies that were served with lunch.  The ground breaking was 2 years ago- that should show how good these cookies are- 2 years later and I’m still thinking about them!

Root Beer & Toffee at the Bluff Fort Co-Op Store

Root Beer & Toffee at the Bluff Fort Co-Op Store

If you follow this blog, you already know that food plays a HUGE part in my husband’s and my activities, so I was so excited to find out that the Co-Op Store sells several different homemade treats.  I bought a couple of the lemon zucchini cookies as well as some Bluff Fort Root Beer and English Toffee.  I haven’t tried the root beer yet, but the cookies barely made it home, and the toffee was gone very shortly after- they were both really good.  So good in fact, that I’m considering trying to put in an ‘order’ with the director of our office who lives in Bluff…. :)

Ever since my first visit, I’ve really been impressed with the Bluff Fort.  AND the fact that it’s free to visit makes it even better!  It’s always been a great place to stop to get a feel for the local history of the area, but now with the new Co-Op Store, it’s even better!  If you drive through Bluff and don’t stop at the Bluff Fort, you really are missing out!

Distance from Bluff to lodging in San Juan County, Utah:

For more information or to request travel brochures, please call Utah’s Canyon Country at: 800-574-4386

Or e-mail us at: info@utahscanyoncountry.com

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Things to See & Do in San Juan County, Utah During the Government Shutdown

Entrance Station at the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park During the Government Shutdown. (photo: Britt Hornsby)

Unfortunately, our National Parks and Monuments are currently closed due to the government shutdown. Our toll-free information line has been ringing off the hook for the past day and a half with calls from visitors who are about to head our way (or are already here) asking what they can see and do now that they can’t visit the parks. LUCKILY if your travel plans are bringing you to Utah’s Canyon Country, there’s still PLENTY to do!  Here’s a list of some of our favorite places and things to do in San Juan County that have not been affected by the shutdown and are still OPEN to the public.  In no particular order…

1.  Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park

Our Shadows at Sunset in Monument Valley

Shadows at Sunset in Monument Valley

Goulding's Tour in Monument Valley

Goulding’s Tour in Monument Valley

2. Edge of the Cedars State Park & Museum

Ancestral Puebloan Site at Edge of the Cedars

Ancestral Puebloan Site at Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum

Visible Storage at Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum

Visible Storage at Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum

3. Goosenecks State Park

Goosenecks State Park

San Juan River- Goosenecks State Park

4. Bluff Fort

Sunset at the Bluff Fort

Sunset at the Bluff Fort

Bluff Fort Co-Op Store

Bluff Fort Co-Op Store

Butt Cabin

Butt Cabin at the Bluff Fort

5.  One of Our Countless Petroglyph Panels

Petroglyph Panel in Indian Creek - Hwy 211

Petroglyph Panel in Indian Creek – Hwy 211

Newspaper Rock

Newspaper Rock Petroglyph Panel- Hwy 211

My Husband at the Wolfman Panel

Wolfman Petroglyph Panel Near Bluff

Petroglyphs in Indian Creek

Petroglyphs in Indian Creek- Hwy 211

6.  Rafting on the San Juan River with Wild Rivers Adventures

San Juan River Trip with Wild Rivers Expeditions

San Juan River Trip with Wild Rivers Expeditions

7.  Wilson Arch

Sunset at Wilson Arch (Photo: Oculus Media)

Sunset at Wilson Arch (Photo: Oculus Media)

8.  Ruins on Cedar Mesa

House on Fire Ruin - Mule Canyon

House on Fire Ruin – Mule Canyon

Moon House Ruin- McLoyd Canyon

Moon House Ruin- McLoyd Canyon

Fallen Roof Ruin- Road Canyon- Cedar Mesa, UT

Fallen Roof Ruin- Road Canyon

9.  Four Corners Monument

Four Corners Monument Marker

Four Corners Monument Marker

10.  One of Our AMAZING Overlooks

Muley Point

Muley Point

Needles Overlook

Needles Overlook

Looking Down On Indian Creek From Along Hart Point Road

Looking Down On Indian Creek From Along Hart Point Road

Sunset over the Six Shooter Peaks

Sunset over the Six Shooter Peaks- Hart Point Road

11.  Fall Colors in the Abajo Mountains

Fall Colors in the Abajos

Fall Colors in the Abajos

12.  Blue Mountain Artisan Gallery & Monticello Artisan Co-Op

Blue Mountain Artisan's Gallery- Blanding, UT

Blue Mountain Artisan’s Gallery- Blanding, UT

Monticello Artisan Co-op, Monticello, UT

Monticello Artisan Co-op, Monticello, UT

13.  Hiking in the La Sals

Mt Peale & Mt Tukuhnikivaz

Mt Peale & Mt Tukuhnikivaz

On the Way Back Down - Mt Peale - La Sal Mountains

Mt Peale – La Sal Mountains

Fanning Away the Mosquitoes - Mt Peale - La Sal Mountains

Mt Peale – La Sal Mountains

Mt. Tukuhnikivatz

Mt. Tukuhnikivatz

14.  ATVing on One of Our Many Trails

San Juan ATV Safari - Arch Canyon

ATVing in Arch Canyon

San Juan ATV Safari Night Ride

ATVing in the Abajos- Wagon Wheel Trail

15.  Golfing at the Hideout Golf Course in Monticello

Hideout Golf Club - Monticello, UT

Hideout Golf Club – Monticello, UT

There’s so much to see in our area, I could have just kept going with this list!  If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ve probably already read our entries on most of these places.  If you aren’t a regular reader and you see something that interests you, please search for it in the search bar on the right hand side of the page- it will bring up the individual blog entry and give you more pictures, information, and directions.

For more information or to request travel brochures, please call Utah’s Canyon Country at: 800-574-4386

Or e-mail us at: info@utahscanyoncountry.com

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