Tag Archives: Matt

Bride Canyon Moab Utah

Discovering Bride Canyon

“Every bride is beautiful. It’s like newborn babies or puppies. They can’t help it.”
Emme Rollins, Dear Rockstar

I was about to write a whole bunch of stuff about weddings and marriage and losing weight to fit into at least 1 of the 4 wedding dresses that currently reside in my closet and about how no, you don’t really need to be married, per se, to have a life-long commitment to someone but deep down I’m the kind of girl who gets sick to death of men talking to me like I’m single and such and really how much would that change with a ring on my finger and a paper with my signature on it next to his I mean we have a National Parks pass with our signatures on it and a mortgage with the same so how much does it matter if he sees me or calls me girlfriend why on earth would it matter to change that to fiance and subsequently wife? ”

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

So yeah.

Here’s the point: I’ve been up and down the Gemini Bridges road more times than I can count and I’ve never taken this turn-off.

Today, the map [made by my once-again-useful Orbital View map via the Avenza app on my phone] was the guide to finding arches that I had heretofore reckoned. Thus, whence this arch doth appear on thine map, thou shalt herein turn up the canyon from which springs said arch of one or two nameless natures.

Thus it was that we navigated up a canyon that upon further research we doth herein discovered to be entitled after the name of ‘Bride Canyon’.

[Aside: a hilarious discovery as wherein this said canyon I had thusly jested that herein and we shall have the option to wed in this very same locale now discovered if only to our own eyes. So it came to pass that my love reminded me thusly that this state in which said canyon resides is Utah, aka. ‘the Motherland’, and would require more consequential wedding requirements than the ‘homeland’ of Colorado.]

Yes. We did find an arch. We actually found two. And some radically carved out canvas. [Sorry Matt didn’t get any awesome pics. This is a phone pano via. moi]

Bride Canyon Moab Utah

Uncompahgre national forest sign with mount sneffels in winter east dallas fork

Snowshoe into Blue Lakes Hut: Part 2

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”
Edith Sitwell

I woke up first.

I always do.

It was a restless night of alternating hot and cold, our legs aching still from the efforts of the night before. Muscles I didn’t know existed ached.

But I woke with the sun, heated some water and made tea, and enjoyed it whilst watching the sunrise hit the peak of Mt. Sneffels [alternately my truest love and my closest nemesis].

I even sat, meditated, and with my eyes wide open watched my beloved Matt sleep, quite contentedly.

Once he did awaken, we discussed THE PLAN for the day.

It had, originally, consisted of snowshoeing around the area…checking out what the Blue Lakes trail might be like this time of year, as well as Cocan Flats…things that we had seen on our earlier hike in the area and watched to discover in the winter… but we were still exhausted.

The call of delicious beers, hot springs, and sleeping in our own bed was stronger than the call of adventure.

So we restocked the firewood [my first time splitting logs all by myself!!!! I was such a he-woman!], cleaned up really well, shoveled trails to the loo and woodpile, turned off the propane, and headed out.

Though it was much faster going out, thanks to my trailblazing on the way in, the sore muscles continued to ache, and it felt as though the trail would never end.

And it doesn’t, does it? It’s like it says in The Lord of the Rings:

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

Just substitute ‘road’ with ‘trail’ and you have a perfect metaphor for life.

We met with a group headed in and upon discourse with them discovered they were headed into the hut. We were so happy to tell them we cut the trail, left them plentiful firewood, and bid them well.

Needless to say, we no longer held regret at our decision to exit when a larger group was headed in, and we would have shared the space with them. Doesn’t really fit with my idea of a totally romantic Christmas Vacation in the mountains.

Once we reached the car it was but a short deal to achieve a table at the Ouray Brewery followed by the immaculate hot springs pool and vapor cave of Wiesbaden.

We found heaven.

Here I am eating oatmeal for breakfast. 

My view out of the compost toilet this morning. Amazing. Here I am at the Blue Lakes trailhead. 

Matt’s amazing pano of the San Juans.

I asked Matt to take this one for me…


A shot of the Mt. Sneffels summit as sunrise hits the peak. It was pretty amazing as the wind gusts would come and make tiny avalanches with the snow off the of the trees.

Matt and I about ready to head out!

Here we stopped so Matt could take an amazing shot of West Fork of Dallas Creek. He is amazing.


Elisa Jones and Matt Janson hiking light lunch grand junction, colorado

Showing Matt Around the Loops

“In Ireland, you go to someone’s house, and she asks you if you want a cup of tea. You say no, thank you, you’re really just fine. She asks if you’re sure. You say of course you’re sure, really, you don’t need a thing. Except they pronounce it ting. You don’t need a ting. Well, she says then, I was going to get myself some anyway, so it would be no trouble. Ah, you say, well, if you were going to get yourself some, I wouldn’t mind a spot of tea, at that, so long as it’s no trouble and I can give you a hand in the kitchen. Then you go through the whole thing all over again until you both end up in the kitchen drinking tea and chatting.

In America, someone asks you if you want a cup of tea, you say no, and then you don’t get any damned tea.

I liked the Irish way better.”
C.E. Murphy, Urban Shaman

I know the Lunch Loops quite well. I’ve either ridden or hiked or ridden AND hiked every trail. Usually more than once- and for me, it only takes once.

Matt on the other hand has held off on getting to know my old stopping grounds. He’s joined me for a run there a time or two but other than that…no.

It’s an intimidation thing, you understand.

Well I insisted that since it was Sunday after all, let’s put down the paint things, the trowels, and forget that we still have 1.5 million boxes to unpack and fuck it, let’s hit the trail!

We started by the upper-upper (but not upper-upper-upper) Gunny Loop parking pull-out where there’s a sign if you attempt to descend from there down the Tabeguache you’ll see that indicates NO ELECTRIC BIKES…with the 1.5 million reasons why, courtesy of the Grand Junction BLM field office (love those guys, seriously).

We took little to no regard and hiked ourselves up up up Lunch Line to a stack of conglomerate rocks I have affectionately called “The Eagle’s Nest”.

The view from there was…breathtaking.

img_1975 img_1981

If you click on and zoom in really closely, you will see the San Juan mountain range…with our beloved Mt. Sneffels poking his head up.

Kid you not.

From there we hiked the only way we could: down…


Looking down toward Echo Canyon and across toward Serpent’s Trail and, of course, No Thoroughfare.


Obligatory selfie.

We took Eagles Wing> Connector > Holy Cross > Prenup> Tabeguache and back to the car.

Here’s what’s amazing: ever since I started to trail run 5 or 6 years ago now, I couldn’t see much purpose in hiking.

It’s taken lots of trail time with Matt to teach me that when you run, all you see is the trail…

When you hike, you can see everything.