monticello jeep trip montezuma canyon

Thanksgiving Two-fur

“In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die
And where you invest your love, you invest your life”- Mumford and Sons ‘Awake My Soul’

Happy Thanksgiving! I’m thankful for the fact that this holiday is one of the few I actually enjoy. No gift giving, no pressure- just food and family and fun. And that’s what today has been about.

Today was a two-fur (I know, I know, you’re thinking, “Two-FOR”. But no. I’m from Utah. It’s two-fur or two-fir. Deal with it.). That means I got TWO trail experiences to blog about!

The first was my typical run when visiting Monticello. There’s a beautiful little lake here, Loyd’s Lake. There is a gravel path that runs around it, and if you tack on a little bit of road you can get a 5k. When the trail is clear I’ll do two laps. Today though, I confess it was the most strenuous trek I’ve had on this route. Let me see if I can explain:

Marching band was a big deal for me in high school and college. I did 4 years of high school, topping out as Drum Major my senior year. I did 1 season in college and participated in the 2002 Olympic Spirit Band in Salt Lake. There are two techniques for maintaining pulse in-place: low-mark and high-mark. With low-mark you keep your toes on the ground and just raise the heels. With high-mark, the upper leg is brought to parallel with the ground, while the foot tracks the opposite leg.

Today was a high-mark run. The snow in parts along the trail was at least 8″ deep. That’s nearly to my knees. I was wearing only a single layer and my Nike track shoes. It was cold. It was exhausting. My feet went numb. It was incredibly beautiful. And I am thankful I experienced it all.

Running around Loyd's Lake near Monticello, UT. You can see just a bit of the Abajo mountains behind me.
Running around Loyd’s Lake near Monticello, UT. You can see just a bit of the Abajo mountains behind me.
The water of Loyd's lake was perfectly still and reflective this early in the morning. One of my favorite run spots!
The water of Loyd’s lake was perfectly still and reflective this early in the morning. One of my favorite run spots!
The view from this high up revealed the fog lodged in the lower valleys. If you look carefully you can just pick out Lone Cone on the horizon.
The view from this high up revealed the fog lodged in the lower valleys. If you look carefully you can just pick out Lone Cone on the horizon.

TRAIL EXPERIENCE DOS

It’s Thanksgiving. Some families play football. Some watch movies. But you can’t come from a family of Jeepers and not get in a Jeep ride before Thanksgiving dinner. Due to the snow we opted for a bit of an easier jaunt, down Montezuma Canyon.

This canyon is amazing to me. It descends nearly 2,000 vertical feet off the plateau above. There are immaculate homes built and carved into the rock cliffs. There’s a vineyard with a winery. There are multiple archaeological sites; ruins and petroglyphs. And today there was dirt, mud, and laughter. 

In attendance were: My Dad and brother Dallin in the white Wrangler (yes, the same one I got dirty last night); my sister Tammiy, her husband Bill, and an assortment of their children in the silver Commander; Dennis, myself, my brother Dave and his new wife Jill in our black Wrangler Unlimited; and my brother Jake, his wife Bronte and their daughter Sophia in the obscene monstrosity of a florescent green Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon.

For all of Dad’s urging that the turkey just HAD to get out of the oven, we took time to explore the sites and several of us even descended into Three Kiva Pueblo. The sun was shining, and it was a beautiful day.

The turkey turned out okay anyway. Or so they tell me.

The whole crew. The only kids we brought were the babies; the rest got to stay back and play with Grandma.
The whole crew. The only kids we brought were the babies; the rest got to stay back and play with Grandma.
Just the Jeeps. Because that's how this crew rolls.
Just the Jeeps. Because that’s how this crew rolls.
My dad, Butch, let me sneak a picture of him. He's not just my dad, but was my band teacher in college, my mentor in music education, and is the bestest grandpa in the world.
My dad, Butch, let me sneak a picture of him. He’s not just my dad, but was my band teacher in college, my mentor in music education, and is the bestest grandpa in the world.
Torrey climbing out of Three Kiva Pubelo
Torrey climbing out of Three Kiva Pubelo
Some boys climbing up by a ruin.
Some boys climbing up by a ruin.

 

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