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Desert Gathering | PMags.com

My good friends Mark and Judy spent the past three years in the UK.  What originally started as a two-year contract for Mark ended up getting extended due to COVID.  Though Mark and Judy enjoyed their time abroad, they missed the American West and the many friends they had over here.

I’ve spent much time in the backcountry with both of them over the years, be it on hut trips, climbs, day skis, and more than few off-trail jaunts.

Mark along the ridge in northern Colorado.

And their fall journeys took them to where many people from Colorado end up this time of the year: The Colorado Plateau.

And their first time meeting Joan, too!

Joan and I grabbed a camping spot near the Needles district and took off hiking for the day.

Soon Martin, a friend of theirs, joined Joan and me that evening, with Mark showing up at night.

The four of us went to The Confluence saw what I think is one of the most storied sites in the American West.

It is where the Green and Upper Colorado (Grand) Rivers join and form one of the most important rivers basins in the world for historical, cultural, and economic reasons.

PCO Mark

PCO Mark

After this hike, we made it back to our site, and Judy joined us and surprised Joan and me with an impromptu backcountry wedding reception with cake and champagne!

PCO Judy

PCO Judy

The following day we showed a well-known backcountry panel and Newspaper Rock off the paved road.

PCO Joan

The first panel we visited makes for more of a backcountry excursion with the 800+-year-old panel tucked away in a remote alcove.

No matter how many times I see this panel I never cease to get impressed by the intricacy.

On a similar note, we visited the well-known Newspaper Rock along the paved road to Canyonlands National Park. The accessibility in no way takes away from this unique nature of this panel featuring images from up two thousand years ago and some from the 1500s.

An excellent weekend to reacquaint with friends!

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