“Nothing burns like the cold.”
George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

The weather got progressively worse as the day continued.

We kept hoping that the clouds would come in and hang low in the valleys and our eyes would literally pop out at every next viewpoint.

But, alas, it seemed that the storms swirled around us…obscuring the La Sal Mountains…the Henries…the Abajos….all mountain ranges that you can usually clearly spot from the highest points of Island in the Sky.

Oh yeah, so before I forget [since my life is such that catching up THIS blog takes place late at night…versus my other blog/business that I work on very early in the morning….and lack of sleep makes my memory suffer….] we had wanted to do a nice long, most-of-the-day hike down Taylor Canyon to see the Moses and Zeus formation.

10 mile hike in the dead of winter?! No problem for we two adventurers!

Alas, it was quite icy when we checked it out.

So…yeah. That’s why we ended up spending the day exploring the Gemini Bridges road!

And we ‘settled’ for Aztec Butte.

This beaut is right of one of the main Island in the Sky roads and it’s a relatively short hike and from the top you get these absolutely amazing and vast and mind-blowing views PLUS an ACTUAL FREAKING ANCIENT PUEBLOAN GRANARY!

So we did that instead.

In spite of their warnings of ‘very steep sandstone climbing where you may have to scramble on hands and feet, with ledges of three feet or more.’

Screw that! We’re adventurers!!!

Matt Janson Aztec Butte in Winter

Matt…climbing up Aztec Butte. It’s much, much, much steeper than it looks.Matt Janson Aztec Butte Granary in Winter

Pano from the granary. Matt’s right in the middle. It was pretty darn sketchy crossing over the ice and snow to get to the overhang and Matt was wise and stayed on solid footing. I clung to the wall as I traversed…trying not to think of the steep drop-off that would have sent me plummeting toward a 400 foot drop-off…ah yee.

Matt Janson Aztec Butte Granary in Winter

Matt: macho. Mui amazing.

Matt Janson and Elisa Jones Aztec Butte Winter

It was so cold and windy that when we got to the top we abandoned the pursuit before we got to the structure at the top. I mean…we topped out…just didn’t get to whatever the ‘structure’ is.

Oh man! I just Googled that!

Okay, I’m TOTALLY GOING BACK THERE with the kids if only to see this: