Upcoming Event: Winter Solstice Paleo-Bison Burning in Bluff

Paleo Bison Buring- photo: Bluff Arts Festival

Paleo Bison in the works for the 2014 Winter Solstice Celebration- photo: Bluff Arts Festival

Two years ago the town of Bluff hosted a unique event on the Winter Solstice- a Mammoth Effigy Burning.  Two local artists, Joe Pachak and JR Lancaster, with the help of some Bluff residents, built a 16 foot mammoth out of willow and cottonwood in an open lot in the center of town.  The mammoth was built with the intention to not only celebrate the Winter Solstice, but also to bring awareness to the area’s history and to the mammoth petroglyph along the San Juan River near town.

2012 Mammoth Effigy- Bluff, UT- photo: Wayne Ranney

2012 Mammoth Effigy- Bluff, UT- photo: Wayne Ranney

Mammoth Effigy- 2012- Bluff, UT- photo:Wayne Ranney

Mammoth Effigy- 2012- Bluff, UT- photo: Wayne Ranney- All In A Days Karma

Although the mammoth was definitely a work of art that could have attracted many people had it been left standing, it was built with the purpose of being burned on the Winter Solstice, and that’s just what happened.  It turned into a pretty large event- a few hundred people showed up to watch flaming spears be shot at the mammoth to set it on fire.

For the Winter Solstice this year Joe Pachak and JR Lancaster have been working on a Paleo-Bison Effigy.  When I signed up for the Willow Weaving Workshop at the Bluff Arts Festival, I saw that ‘Build a Bison Sculpture’ was on the schedule of events, and was running all day long throughout the length of the Arts Festival.  I saw them working on it as we drove by, but unfortunately we didn’t have time to stop and take a closer look.  But, the fact that it was in the works in mid-October shows that it takes a LONG time to complete something like this!  I missed the first one, but I’m definitely planning to attend this year!  The Bison Burning has expanded and there are a few other events planned in Bluff that day prior to the Bison Burning itself.  Here’s the tentative schedule for the Winter Solstice (December 21st, 2014) Bison Burning:

  • Free photo workshop given by JR Lancaster, ‘How to Get the Most (With Your Camera) Out of a Flaming Megafauna’.  The only workshop like it in the world! (1:00pm)
  • Exhibition of bison paintings by Brent Spink at Cloudwatcher Gallery followed by music and poetry.
  • Lighted bike ride through Bluff (sunset)
  • Poi Fire Spinner performance
  • The ignition with flaming atlatl darts followed by dancing and singing (Solstice Shuffle) (7:00pm)

*I’d like to give a big THANK YOU to Wayne Ranney for permission to use the beautiful photos from his blog, All In A Days Karma!

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

Posted in Bluff, Events, Rock Art, San Juan River, Things to do for FREE!, Travel, Utah | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Recapture Pocket- San Juan County’s Version of Goblin Valley

Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

You know how every so often you’ll suddenly start hearing lots of people talk about something that you had never previously heard of?  Well that happened to me recently with Recapture Pocket- an area near Bluff that is kind of a miniature Goblin Valley with lots of hoodoos and cool rock formations.  After hearing about it twice within about a month after NEVER having heard a thing about it before, I took it as a sign and knew that I had to go!

Although it’s threatening to snow as I sit here writing this,  last weekend was still unseasonably warm for the beginning of November so my husband, son, and I headed down to Bluff with a road atlas and a rough map my coworker drew for me on a post-it.  Turned out, this wasn’t quite enough, but luckily I realized that I still had bars on my phone all the way out there and was able to find a blog that gave really detailed directions and we found it really easily.

Before going, all I had seen of Recapture Pocket was a picture on a friend’s cell phone and a few images when I googled it.  Based on the limited information I found on the internet, it’s obviously a place that doesn’t get that much traffic.  This made me feel a little better for having not heard of it sooner!

Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

Playing 'At the Beach'- Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

Playing ‘At the Beach’- Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

While following the directions we had found online, we spotted an area that looked cool from the road, so we decided to check it out before continuing to the main attraction.  There was a lot of wide open sandstone and patches of sand which my son LOVED.  He immediately plopped down and declared that he was ‘at the beach’.  It took us a while to finally drag him away from the sand, but once he saw that he could run around the rock formations, I think the sand was forgotten!

I remember the first time I went to Goblin Valley- I just wanted to run around and hide behind the rock formations and jump out and scare people!  (No- I wasn’t a little kid when I went- it was only 5 years ago!)  Well, it’s the same feeling at Recapture Pocket, but the really cool thing there is that there’s no crowd of people- you have it all to yourself.  There is nothing better than being at a really cool place like this and having it all to yourself to explore and discover- it just makes the experience that much better!  I think we’ve become kind of spoiled living here, since having a trail, a ruin, a whole monument, to yourself is kind of the norm. (Yes, my husband and I really had a whole monument to ourselves once!  Read about our first visit to Hovenweep HERE!)

Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

Recapture Pocket- San Juan County, UT

The first place we stopped was really cool, but the main site was even better!  To drive right to the main site I think you probably need at least a semi-high clearance vehicle.  We have a newer Subaru Outback with about 8.5 inches of clearance and we were fine, but if you don’t want to chance it, it would be less than a 1 mile hike in. (Directions at the end of post)

We probably spent a couple hours at Recapture Pocket just walking around and looking at all the crazy rock formations and trying to get our son to pose for pictures.  (Not very successfully!)  We found a bunch of plastic Easter eggs while we were there- maybe some Bluff families take their kids out there to hide eggs?  However they got there, my son had a great time playing Easter Egg Hunt!

I think we could have spent a lot more time exploring, but lunch and nap time were calling, so we had to cut it short.  I think it would be a great place to camp, especially with a large group or with a family.  I think kids would love to just be able to run around and play around all the hoodoos and crazy formations and little canyons.  We had a great time, and will definitely be taking people who come to visit us to Recapture Pocket in the future!

Directions:

From Bluff: At the junction of Hwy 191 & Hwy 162, turn east and drive until you reach the junction of Hwy 163 & Hwy 216.  Turn north onto Hwy 216 and follow it to a sharp, 90 degree bend in the road.  At the bend, turn right onto CR217.  You will come to a couple Ys in the road- stay right on CR217 until you see a left hand (north) turn onto CR249.  After turning north on CR249, continue on this road until you come to another Y.  Turn left and follow the road into a dry wash (This is where you may want to park if you’re worried about your vehicle’s clearance.  If there is water flowing in the wash, DO NOT attempt to cross it!) After crossing the wash, continue down the road for approximately 1 mile until you see Recapture Pocket on your left.

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

Posted in Bluff, Camping, Geology, Hiking, Things to do for FREE!, Travel, Utah | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Bluff Arts Festival- Willow Weaving Workshop

Bluff Arts Festival- Willow Weaving Workshop

Bluff Arts Festival- Willow Weaving Workshop

A couple weeks ago I finally got to do something that I’ve been wanting to do ever since I moved here… take one of the workshops at the Bluff Arts Festival!  I’ve been interested in taking one of the workshops for years now, but just never made it down there for one reason or another.  This year my Dad decided to come visit in mid-October, and when I realized that his visit would coincide with the Bluff Arts Festival, I looked on their website to see if they still had openings in any of the workshops that I thought he might be interested in.  When I saw the Willow Weaving workshop I knew that he’d want to do it, and sure enough, when I told him about it he said to sign him up!

The workshops vary from year to year.  In addition to Willow Weaving, some of the workshops offered this year included; Cooking Native Foods, Hand Built Clay, Native Drumming, Rock Art Drawing Workshop, Drawing with Acrylics, Plein Air Painting, Hike to the Wolfman Rock Art Panel, and many others.  They also have evening events including; storytelling, a film festival, and a Gala at the Community Center with the Desert Mountain Dancers and Tab Murphy- an Academy Award nominated screenwriter.  By the time I signed us up, many of the workshops were already full, but luckily the one I wanted the most- Willow Weaving- still had a couple spots open, however it DID fill up completely by the day of the workshop.

Woven panels at Rusticks Gallery- Bluff, UT

Woven panels at Rusticks Gallery- Bluff, UT

The workshop was held at Rusticks Gallery which is the home of Kyle Bauman who is also known as the ‘Willow Weaver’.  If you live in the area (and you pay attention to these kinds of things!) you’re probably familiar with his work.  There are many businesses and homes in Bluff that have his decorative panels in their gardens & yards, and in the festival brochure it says that his work can be found in 30 states and Canada, so it looks like it extends far beyond this area!

Willow Weaving Workshop- Bluff Arts Festival 2014

Willow Weaving Workshop- Bluff Arts Festival 2014

Willow Weaving Workshop- Bluff Arts Festival 2014

Willow Weaving Workshop- Bluff Arts Festival 2014

The workshop began with Kyle introducing himself and showing us an example of what we’d be making.  He had already constructed the frames for us, so he just showed us the first step and where the materials were, and turned us loose.  There were 3 different types of wood available for us to use; willow, tamarisk, and cottonwood saplings, plus you could strip them to make a lighter color if you wanted, so although we were following a fairly set pattern, there was a lot of variation on how everyone’s panels looked when we were finished.

Willow Weaving Workshop- Bluff Arts Festival 2014

My Dad at the Willow Weaving Workshop- Bluff Arts Festival 2014

Willow Weaving Workshop- Bluff Arts Festival 2014

My Dad Hard at Work at the Willow Weaving Workshop- Bluff Arts Festival 2014

Willow Weaving Workshop- Bluff Arts Festival 2014

Work in Progress- Willow Weaving Workshop- Bluff Arts Festival 2014

Everyone spread out and found a spot to work- about half the group used the tables inside, and the other half of us opted to work outside.  My dad and I set up along the fence and got to work- I have to say it was a little harder than I thought it would be!  The frames were pretty stiff, so as you got more and more pieces in place, it got pretty hard to weave new pieces in.  But it was definitely a really fun and relaxing way to spend a beautiful fall morning in Bluff!

Willow Weaving Workshop- Bluff Arts Festival 2014

Willow Weaving Workshop- Bluff Arts Festival 2014

Since everyone was so spread out and at different places with their panels, Kyle would just go around and when he could see that people were ready for the next step, he’d show them what to do next.  It seemed to work well, and three hours later my dad and I had our finished projects!  Well, mostly finished anyway.  Our ‘homework’ assignment was to find or create something to put in the center of our panels.  I haven’t done it yet, but I’m thinking I might make a little mosaic for mine and use all the broken Japanese dishes I have that I can’t bear to throw away!

I’m so glad I finally made it down to take part in the Bluff Arts Festival this year.  I’ll definitely be signing up for another workshop next year, the only problem will be trying to rule it down to just one!

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

Posted in Bluff, Events, Travel, Utah | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Procession Panel- Butler Wash

Procession Petroglyph Panel- Butler Wash

Procession Petroglyph Panel- Butler Wash

I’ve been getting requests for a hiking entry from some of my regular readers, so here it is!  We haven’t hiked nearly as much as we used to in the two years since our son was born, and for some reason it seems like all our recent hikes have been in the Moab area, (shhhh!) so I had to dig back into the vault a little for this one…

It’s been a few years since my husband and I hiked out to Procession Panel, and it’s definitely still one of my favorites.  I think I must say that about every hike, but around here it’s really hard to pick a favorite- wherever you go, you really can’t go wrong! Procession Panel is located in Butler Wash which parallels the eastern side of Comb Ridge.  San Juan County has a high concentration of ruins and rock art, but in the Butler Wash area, it’s especially high.  If you’ve read my post on the Wolfman Petroglyph Panel, you’ll remember that it’s also located in Butler Wash, and Procession Panel located just a few miles further down the same road.

From south to north, the popular sites along Butler Wash include; Wolfman Panel, Double Stack Ruin, Procession Panel, Monarch Cave, Cold Spring, Split Level Ruin, and Fishmouth Cave.  I’m sure there are A LOT more, but these are the most well known sites.  The trail head for Procession Panel is fairly easy to access- it’s only about 6 miles north of the junction with Hwy 163, but the hike itself is one of the longer ones along Butler Wash.  It’s about a 3 mile round trip hike, which isn’t too bad, but it also has the most elevation gain (about 600 ft in 1.5 miles) and since the trail is mostly on open sandstone, there is very little shade.

Procession Petroglyph Panel- Butler Wash

Procession Petroglyph Panel- Butler Wash- Looking back toward the trailhead

Procession Petroglyph Panel- Butler Wash

Procession Petroglyph Panel- Butler Wash- Open sandstone makes up most of the trail

The trail (mostly just rock cairns) can be a little difficult to follow too, but if you just keep aiming for the narrow space between the two ridges to the west, you should have no problem finding the panel.

Procession Petroglyph Panel- Butler Wash- San Juan County, UT

Procession Petroglyph Panel- Butler Wash- San Juan County, UT

Procession Petroglyph Panel- Butler Wash- San Juan County, UT

Procession Petroglyph Panel- Butler Wash- San Juan County, UT

Procession Petroglyph Panel- Butler Wash- San Juan County, UT

Procession Petroglyph Panel- Butler Wash- San Juan County, UT

When we arrived at the main panel, I remember that I didn’t quite see it all at first.  Maybe it’s always like that with petroglyphs- your eyes are first drawn to the most recent figures since they’re the lightest and have the most contrast with the rocks.  Then, the longer you look, you start to see more and more of the fainter ones in the background.  Whatever it was, it took me a while to take it all in.  It’s really an amazing panel and there’s a lot to take in.

Procession Petroglyph Panel- Butler Wash- San Juan County, UT

Procession Petroglyph Panel- Butler Wash- San Juan County, UT

Procession Petroglyph Panel- Butler Wash- San Juan County, UT

Procession Petroglyph Panel- Butler Wash- San Juan County, UT

Procession Petroglyph Panel- Butler Wash- San Juan County, UT

The Bears Ears from Procession Petroglyph Panel- Butler Wash- San Juan County, UT

Almost as amazing as the panel itself, was the view looking west from the top of Comb Ridge- I was really blown away by the view and think I probably spent as much time looking at it, as I spent looking at the petroglyph panel!  You can see in one of the pictures above, that the Bears Ears were visible from up there, as they are from many places in San Juan County.

As I mentioned before, there is very little shade on this trail, so it can be a little brutal in the summer, but it’s a great spring or fall hike.  In fact, when I started writing this entry I noticed that it was almost 3 years ago to the day that we were there!

Directions:

From Bluff: Travel west on hwy 191 (this road becomes hwy 163 about 4 miles west of Bluff) for about 5 miles and turn right (north) onto Co Rd 262 (Butler Wash Rd)  After passing through a gate near the highway, drive approximately 6 miles and then turn left (west) onto a single track road.  You can park here or continue on a little farther to the parking area.  The trail starts from the parking area.

Distance From the Procession Panel 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

 

Posted in Bluff, Hiking, Rock Art, Things to do for FREE!, Travel, Utah | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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:

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