Cape San Blas Shelling: Everything You Need To Know

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I love shelling and that’s no secret.  If you’re following me on Instagram (if you’re not, you should!) you’ll know I spent a week on Cape San Blas in Florida at the beginning of March.  Before you come at me, this was literally right before everything with the virus really happened in the US.

mount rushmore black hills road trip south dakota

My Outdoorsy Midwest USA Bucketlist

This winter (last winter, now) instead of making a yearly state to-do list, I decided to just make a bigger state bucket list.  Then I decided to turn this into a little series.  I wanted to do specific states that I spend a lot of time in, want to spend a lot of time in, or am close to a lot. 

I also wanted to do more general regional bucket lists for all the other things I want to do, which is a lot.  They are all pretty outdoor focused with a few non-outdoorsy things, too.

Spain

36 Books Set In Spain That Will Make You Feel Like You’re There

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Admittedly, Spain isn’t the top of my bucket list.  However, after reading a few books set in Spain, I know it will crawl its way up my list.  I’ve compiled this list of Spain travel books, Spain memoirs, novels set in Spain, Spanish non-fiction, and more.  Basically, everything you could look for in books about Spain.  So grab a pot of coffee, sit back, and get that Kindle out (or however you read, no judgment here) and get reading!

lower antelope canyon page Arizona

My Outdoorsy Southwest USA Bucketlist

This winter (last winter, now) instead of making a yearly state to-do list, I decided to just make a bigger state bucket list.  Then I decided to turn this into a little series.  I wanted to do specific states that I spend a lot of time in, want to spend a lot of time in, or am close to a lot. 

I also wanted to do more general regional bucket lists for all the other things I want to do, which is a lot.  They are all pretty outdoor focused with a few non-outdoorsy things, too.

Bartlett pictographs Moab Utah

Aliens, Robots, And Intestines, Oh My! These Are Some Of The Best Petroglyphs In Moab

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I finally have all of my Moab rock art posts up and can share this one, too!  These are some of the best petroglyphs in Moab because of the subject and accessibility.  All of these are easy to get to and some of them are pretty unique and bucket list worthy.

Intestine man pictograph moab utah

Intestine Man Pictograph Site + Bonus Petroglyphs Near Canyonlands National Park

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One of the last rock art stops on our little Moab trip was the Intestine Man, one I was very excited about for a long time.  I didn’t realize how easy it was to see though for quite a while.  I finally got to see it and it was just as cool as I was hoping!  This is a great stop on your way to or from Canyonlands or Dead Horse Point State Park.

Bartlett pictographs Moab Utah

Bartlett Pictographs: Out Of This World Rock Art In Moab, Utah

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As you know, the theme of my last trip to Moab was rock art and the Bartlett Rock Art was one I was very excited about.  These pictographs are Barrier Style, a style that was featured on Ancient Aliens (if you know which episode, please let me know in the comments!)  The figures look kind of like robot aliens and I love them.

Goosenecks State Park And Valley Of The Gods: Is It Worth It?

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One of the things I’ve wanted to do since my first summer in Bullfrog is to visit Valley of the Gods.  Well, it was one of the first things I did once I got here for the season.  Off we went on a cold, windy, and cloudy day in April for what I had very high expectation of.  Valley of the Gods was described to me as a mini Monument Valley or the Grand Canyon with the best views in Utah.  Safe to say, I was expecting a lot, so if you don’t go in with those expectations, it’s pretty cool.

Butler Wash Ruins Utah

Blast From The Past: Trail Of The Ancients In Utah And Colorado

Trail of the Ancients is a scenic drive taking you to various sites featuring ancient Anasazi ruins and culture in Southeast Utah and Southwest Colorado.  From Mesa Verde to Monument Valley and Ruins to petroglyphs, this Colorado and Utah road trip will help you see it all.

Monument valley without a guide

Super Ultimate Hiking And Outdoor Utah Bucket List

This winter instead of making a yearly state to-do list, I decided to just make a bigger state bucket list.  Then I decided to turn this into a little series.  I wanted to do specific states that I spend a lot of time in, want to spend a lot of time in, or am close to a lot. 

I also wanted to do more general regional bucket lists for all the other things I want to do, which is a lot.  They are all pretty outdoor focused with a few non-outdoorsy things, too.

fort matanzas st augustine florida

One Weekend In St. Augustine, Florida: How To Make The Most Of It

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The first stop on my quick central Florida road trip with my parents was St. Augustine for two days.  We knew we wanted to visit Castillo de San Marcos and do a ghost tour while we were there, but that was about it.  We went for one day right away, then went back for one more day on our way back to Gainesville from the Orlando area.  The first day it was SO COLD and windy, but we still went out and did stuff because, well, we were already there.

navajo loop bryce canyon

Everything You Need To Know To Plan A Southern Utah Road Trip

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This is basically going to be the hub of all things Utah to help you plan the best Utah road trip ever.  It will be the home of all Utah content sorted by national parks and monuments, state parks, scenic drives, and other hikes or helpful things.  I will be adding to this as I go and write more posts.

San Juan del Sur Christ of Mercy Statue

Best View In San Juan del Sur: The Jesus Statue aka The Christ Of Mercy Statue + Tips For Visiting SJDS

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One of the first things you’ll see when you get to San Juan del Sur is the giant statue of Jesus.  You can see it from most places in town.  This is the Cristo De La Misericordia, or the Christ of Mercy Statue, or the Jesus Statue as a lot of people will call it.  Walking up to the Christ of Mercy Statue is one of the best budget activities in San Juan del Sur.  It’s cheap to enter and you get awesome views of the area from the top.

Hovenweep national monument utah

Explore Ancient Ruins At Hovenweep National Monument

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Hovenweep National Monument is a small monument on the Colorado/Utah border, not too far from Cortez (Colorado) and Bluff (Utah,) but not particularly close to anything else other than the Canyon of the Ancients National Monument.  After passing the sign for it a few times with no real idea of how far it was from Bluff or Cortez, we decided to make a pit stop here on our way back to Bullfrog from Cortez.

Humans started living in this area over 10,000 years ago (that’s crazy!) and became the year round home of about 2,500 people int he late 1200s.  However by the 13th century, the area was abandoned most likely from a combination of factors: drought, depletion of resources, warfare, and factionalism and they began moving south.  Here is the more in depth history.

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The drive from Cortez to Hovenweep is one hour, fairly uneventful, and not particularly scenic, but it’s not all that long for out west.  It’s a small monument with ancient peubloan ruins around the rim of a small canyon with a hiking trail connecting all (or most) of them.  A bonus for making the drive out here is that there is no entrance fee!

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Once you get to the park you’ll see the visitor center right away.  They have limited hours, so check those before going if you really want to watch the movie or get something.  From the visitor center, continue away from the parking lot to get to the ruins.  First you’ll come up to a view point and the rim trail will leave from here.

Just at this view point you can see ruins across the canyon and some remains around you.  We started following the trail to the right from this spot.  I’m not sure if it goes to the left.  I’m sure it connects there somewhere, but it’s very obvious on the right, so we followed it.

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This direction first brought us to some smaller ruins along the rim on our side.  You can see ruins across the canyon the whole walk, which is pretty flat most of the way.  Eventually we got to the Hovenweep Castle, which was the biggest, most intact, ruin that we made it to.  We went just a little farther before turning around because it was SO HOT and we didn’t have water because we weren’t expecting to walk that far.  It was probably close to 110 degrees and we were there around 5 PM.  Don’t forget to bring water.

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We went back the way we came stopping for a few more pictures along the way before heading home.  While this may not be the most exciting, most impressive, or most convenient ruin site, it’s worth a stop if the topic interests you and you’re in the area.  Over the summer I’ve enjoyed learning more about the archaeology and history of the Four Corners area.  I’m still no expert, not even close, but I do enjoy it.  I’ll always stop for ruins and petroglyphs now.

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It’s no Mesa Verde, but it’s still cool to see.  If you only have time to visit one ruin site, I’d definitely go with Mesa Verde.  It’s a lot more impressive.  The structures are way bigger and there are literally thousands of them.  The scenery itself isn’t much better than what you see here, but that’s not what the park is about.  It’s about the history and the culture, which I think I would appreciate more after knowing more about the area.  I didn’t love it when I went, but I’d love to go back still, especially to do one of the tours into Cliff Palace.

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Tips for visiting Hovenweep National Monument:

  • Go in the winter if you can.  The weather will be a lot more pleasant.  Fall would be good too.
  • If you want a different ruin site to visit that is on a main scenic drive, check out Butler Wash.
  • It’s a great stop on a Trail of the Ancients road trip or for history buffs
  • If you do go in the summer, bring water if you plan to do the hiking loop.  It’s not that long, a couple miles, but it’s not easy when its 110 degrees out.  (trust me)
  • This park isn’t particularly close to anything, but if you’re in Cortez (for Mesa Verde) for Bluff, Utah, it’s an easy afternoon trip.
  • The only way to see the ruins is by hiking.  You cannot drive close to them.  It’s a super short walk to the first overlook though, where you can still see some.  To get closer you’ll have to hike more.
  • Wear sunscreen and/or a hat.  There is no shade here.
  • Finders Keepers by Craig Child is a great book to prepare for a trip to the Four Corners area, especially if you plan to see a lot of ruins.
  • Camping is available in the park for $15 per night.

Have you been to Hovenweep?  Do you want to go?  What are your favorite ruins?