Category Archives: Bike

matts epic shot of independence monument colorado national monument grand junction, colorado

Discovering the Monument

“Not marble nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme,
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone, besmeared with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn
And broils roots out the work of masonry,
Nor mars his sword nor war’s quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.
‘Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
So, till judgement that yourself arise,
You in this, and dwell in lovers eyes.”
William Shakespeare, Shakespeare’s Sonnets

I know it’s not the New Year, precisely, but I just can’t wait!

For months now we’ve been thinking about how to give ourselves a challenge like unto the one that initiated this blog… and about October we decided:

We’re going to hike and explore every trail in the Colorado National Monument in 2017.

I know it doesn’t seem like much, especially if you live in the Grand Valley or ever look at the official map that the CNM hands you at the entrance booth.

There aren’t a lot of miles of designated, maintained trail.

And yet, it’s a place we both love so much! I absolutely adore No Thoroughfare canyon, and Matt grew up here and loves it nearly as much as I do…I mean, he had his first/practice wedding on the rim of Wedding Canyon for heaven’s sake!

As much as we have explored the canyons and crevasses the Monument offers, we don’t feel that we have seen even a fraction of what mysteries are held within the enigmatic canyon walls of the Heart of the World.

[Side note… Matt and I both got to be spotlighted in the filming of ‘The Heart of the World’ documentary, riding our bikes on Rim Rock Road…].

I do hope that you will join us on our journey as we explore this highly under-rated National Park Service property. Just look over to the right of your screen and enter your email address to be notified of every upcoming post…written by me and photos by Matt Janson Photography.

Look familiar? Yeah it should! This is Matt’s photo of Independence Monument that was featured on the cover of the Grand Junction City calendar for 2014. Expect more of this awesomeness to come.


Elisa Jones mountain biking grand junction colorado

My Home….Again

“If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.”
L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

When I first moved to this town from Utah, I found a rental house online and sent off the deposit before I knew much besides the fact that it was in some part of town called the “Redlands” and was a stones’ throw from the National Monument.

Honestly, any neighborhood that is surrounded by green/BLM/NPS/USFS property is a good sign.

So we got that house…sort of.

When it came time to move in, the dude who had been living there hadn’t moved out. We ended up being homeless for a time- living in a hotel and then in my dad’s house in Monticello, UT- well, 4 of us living in one room…sleeping on the floor….with no money and only the clothes we had packed in the car because the rest was in the moving van that promptly went back to Salt Lake when they couldn’t unload in Grand Junction….

Fast forward….

We lived there for 2 years (once the dude DID move out), then purchased a house just down the street…because we loved the area so much!

Fast forward….

18 months later we decided to conscientiously uncouple ourselves. Well sell our houses and decide to remain friends/partners-in-parenting. I find the cheapest, smallest place I can within the school boundaries. It’s still expensive. But so so so worth it!

Fast forward….

Decide renting is really not a sound investment and start talking to a mortgage guy to see what it would take for me to be able to buy a house. Matt decides he wants in on it and would be willing to help out financially and BOOM! We’re house shopping for realzzzzz.

Fast forward…..(last time, I promise)

We find this cute and interesting fixer-upper condo that’s super cheap for the square footage. Seriously like $50/ft less than the average in the neighborhood. Sure it needs a lot of remodel work, but we can move right in, the kids have more space and guess what!??!?!?

It’s almost exactly across the street from my old house. And just down the street from the first house I lived in when I moved to this town 4.5 years ago. Hilarious, no?

So here I am all stressed out and over-worked and stressed out and I’m like, “Hey babe, (only I don’t really call him ‘babe’ that’s just a joke), I need to get out. Would you mind checking my tire pressure?”

And I bundle up real good because it be all freakishly freezing up in here and he kisses me goodbye like, “Yeah, girl, you go get some….” and I do just that!

Our new house is literally a hearty stones-throw from access to tires-on-dirt kind of action and in a few blissful moments I’m there. I have Aerosmith going all ‘Crazy’ in my ear buimg_7570 img_7571ds and the sun is shining and I wonder why I ever thought I had a care in the world!

There’s something more about moving in with a guy that I love but I have seen only 1% of his stuff and I had never really had a place to myself not even since I was…well…ever since I got married when I was 20…and I don’t get time alone…and I feel like I am literally working constantly…and all I really want to do is be a mom and ride my bike…and he has so much stuff I had no idea because it’s all been in storage…and why is he putting PAPERBACK books on my gorgeous black bookshelves and….4 boxes of “The Simpsons” collectibles?

Life can’t get back to ‘normal’ soon enough.


At least the new house has a fireplace.


At least he puts away his own stuff….



At least I can drink!….


Elisa Jones riding mountain bikes grand junction, colorado

A Little SS on my SS

“If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.”
Mario Andretti

Story of my life. Completely out of control.

With the work on the house, a recently-completed (and wildly successful) music program at school, the prospect of moving looming…I needed OUT.

So I went.

I just hopped on my bike and rode to the Secret Stash for a lap or two. I was only out for about 40 minutes- that’s all the time I could spare- but it worked wonders for my psyche.

Worth it.


Obligatory Pano!


Obligatory vertical pano!img_7362

Obligatory selfie. Yes that’s a real smile. Kind of.