Tag Archives: liberty cap

matt janson amazing light photo

A Pretty Legit Exploration and a Quadruple Arch to Boot

“A chasm reminds us that there is a fine line between bravery and idiocy.”
Veronica Roth, Divergent

“There are four lights.”
Patrick Stewart

So there are a couple of things that have popped up in our Monument research.

The problem with this is that I HAVE TO FIGURE THEM OUT. It’s like a little puzzle to me and I need to solve it.

Suction Point is one.

For example, on the official map it is here:

Suction Point as it lies on the official colorado national monument map

Right? It is clearly in an upper hanging canyon that drains into Ute.

But now check this out:

suction point as it lies on google maps and satelite view

So which is it? What is it? Why is it called that? Who named it? Why is it significant?

This led me to do a little Google Searching.

And what I found was…well…exciting.  Check it out: http://www.naturalarches.org/db/arches/coloMN1.htm

Yeah. A [insert expletive here] QUADRUPLE arch! Whaaaaat?!?!

My adventure senses started tingling.

I did more research. I zoomed way way way in on Google Earth. I made some good guesses and plotted how to get there. This process took me a couple of weeks. And of course we had to wait for weather to be right for backcountry hiking…

But I couldn’t wait anymore. I insisted we find the cluster of arches and, heck, while we’re at it let’s see what the CNM official map calls ‘Suction Point’.

Kids, as per their typical MO were unenthusiastic for the venture. But, also per their typical MO, perked up when we got on the trail.

Trinity took the lead and Tim remained interested in the map on my phone. Connor is just a happy friendly kid 98% of the time, so he hiked along happily.

I’m not going to give an exact description of the route we took, but this I will tell you: if there is something of interest at the ‘Suction Point’ as listed on the CNM map then we missed it because it just looked like this:


A beautiful view to be sure, but little otherwise of significance.

As we approached where I suspected our second quarry lie, we began to spot little hole through rocks everywhere!

Matt got this one:

small arch on the rim of upper ute canyon near suction point colorado national monument matt janson photography

As per my typical MO, I led us directly to where I thought the Quadruple Arch would be and sure enough, there it was!

quadruple arch in upper ute canyon near suction point by matt janson photography

The arches are not large, but to see a clustering of 4 was as fantastic as you think it is.

This one is my favorite. Matt took it, of course:

Quadruple arch in upper ute canyon colorado national monument grand junction, colorado near suction point


• Matt found a set of cat tracks, one very large and one very tiny. Mother and child? Oh we hope so!

• Tim got angry I wouldn’t let him out on top of the largest arch with the biggest risk of a non-refundable fall. Guess I’m a mean mom. I’m perfectly okay with that.

• Connor is seriously so much fun.

• The hike back was uneventful, other than the storytelling from the endless imagination of Connor. We ended up hiking only about 4 miles but it felt far more significant.

• Connor also said, “Mom, this was totally worth it.”

See. Mom really is always right.


Connor’s sand drawing:

connor's sand drawing

And this incredible shot from Matt. You know you want this on your wall. 

Get it. Get it for your wall. 

matt janson amazing light photo

LIberty Cap hike colorado national monument

Pushing the Limits

“The garden of the world has no limits, except in your mind.” 
― Rumi

“Suffering is humbling. It pays to know how to get your butt kicked.”
― Christopher McDougallBorn to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
Yes, we wanted another hard run today, and were time-crunched. I sometimes ache to get up high, and today was that way. I just wanted to get high.
It was cold, and I’d been busy at meetings all day, changing from my business attire into running clothes in my Jeep. We hit it, and went hard right from the start. But this trail up is too challenging even for us. We would run, then hike, without our heart rates decreasing in any way.
So I set myself a challenge. Go. Keep going. When my body was screaming to stop, I would go; be it a few steps or a few yards. If I push past the point of suffering, I have no doubt that the point of suffering will expand with me.
Any part of the trail we could run, we did. We didn’t stop at all on the way down, and in fact increased our speed as the trail led us closer to the finish. It was hard, intentionally so, and thus satisfying. IMG_1956 IMG_1958 IMG_1961 IMG_1962 IMG_1964 IMG_1966 IMG_1967 IMG_1968
I even earned a crown: http://www.strava.com/activities/215218037
grand junction sunrise

Vantage Point

“Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.”
― Carl SaganCosmos

“For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”
― Carl Sagan

“We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers, our willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good.”
― Carl Sagan

Melinda and I had a lovely run/hike up to Liberty Cap, then a fast descent down Corkscrew. She’s still recovering from a bad DH crash last weekend, but did very well nonetheless.

The sunrise was a gaudy monstrosity this morning.

IMG_8847 IMG_8848 IMG_8851 IMG_8856 IMG_8858 IMG_8860 IMG_8861 IMG_8864 IMG_8866 IMG_8873 IMG_8875 IMG_8877


I’m right, right?

Second story: I’ve “followed” this guy named Rob T. on Strava over the last year or more. He’s obviously a total hard-core runner, and biker, and I keep thinking with the kind of mileage he puts in I’ll run into him on the trail. But I haven’t.

So every time I meet a man who is out running alone I ask if his name is Rob. We met one such man this morning on our way down the trail and so I asked him, “Are you Rob?”. No. He was Evan.

But then a second man came running up. “Are you Rob?” The man says “Yeah. I’m Rob.” But it wasn’t THE Rob I was looking for. This Rob had only come into town yesterday. False alarm.

(insert laughing here)