Monday, January 1, 2018

Overlooking Bulldog Canyon and Recapture Reservoir.

Happy New Year 2018!

This is my first travel post of the new year; many may be wondering why I haven't been writing about my travels throughout the 4 Corners area lately.  Several reasons kept us home most of the time, but we did get to venture to a few places throughout the summer and fall.  Writing though, writing for me seemed to be lacking, mostly, inspiration.  I made the decision yesterday to work on a file of photos and have them ready to begin the new year, so here it goes...

First off, when I give directions and mileage readings, I mainly use some type of landmark; this time I used the Monticello Post Office located on Main Street, corner of 200 South.  Heading south out of town and 15 miles along Highway 191, right hand side, there is, well it starts out as gravel, crosses over a cattle guard and then becomes part of an old paved road; you can still make out a double yellow line going down the center of it.  It ends in 5/10s of a mile to become a horribly ruted dirt trail which eventually will get you into Bulldog Canyon, that is if you hike or ATV the trail.

We decided to see if the trail got better further on, but by a half mile in it only began getting worse; still great for hikers and ATVers though.  Don't be deceived by the photo, this was the level part of the hike.  Only went a half mile, but we saw beautiful scenery just the same

Now what's so important about Bulldog Canyon anyway?  There are a few ruin sites here and there, but it does have historical value for San Juan County besides those.  The first sawmill was sent up in Bulldog Canyon by Willard Butt and C.R. Christensen.  The logs came from the Abajo Mountains, and lumber for the first sluice gates in Bluff were cut with a rip saw by Parley R. Butt.  The saw mill is long gone, but it's a popular recreational area, especially being adjacent to Recapture Reservoir.

Back to our adventure, we turned our vehicle around, only went 2/10s of a mile before we spotted a trail going through the trees; oh what the hell and down it we went.  The trail ended, you guessed it, 2/10s of a mile inward, but we could see rocky outcroppings and a hint of Recapture Reservoir.  Now the rocky outcroppings were the same that could be seen from a dirt trail that goes around Recapture, and here we were about to hike the top of them.  There are many cracks and openings between sections of the rocks, so be careful walking on them; pay attention or falling down between huge boulders will definitely be an option you won't enjoy. 

By the way, we went to this area twice, the first time was in May 2017 and the next day was an unexpected snowstorm.  The second time was in July 2017 and the next day it poured rain as if the monsoon season wanted to get it all done in one day.  So, I guess if the area needs more moisture, we should make a trip to this overlook?

..and back to the story.

This seems to be a popular area for wood cutting and it was easy to follow short trails through the trees; at one old tree we found an unusual sort of "nest"; looks like deer enjoy resting here as well.  We found several stone rings created to hold a campfire, so campers, here's another option for you to visit.

Of course, standing on top of a huge section of boulder, looking across at Recapture; the quiet, the serenity, it was just one of those "ahhhhh" moments.

My hubby, Roy, having an "Ahhhh" moment.

As with many of my travel postings, I can't resist adding some photos of the local plant and/or wild life.

Desert Dandelion (Aster family)

Penstemon grandiflorus is a perennial plant of the genus Penstemon. Common names include large beardtongue.

As I begin writing more postings of where we went during those warmer months, I want you to think about making plans to come on into San Juan County, Utah and visiting these places as well.  Don't forget now, I'll be working at Canyon Country Discovery Center (northern end of Monticello), giving out plenty of tourist information and advice.  Come on in, buy an admission to play inside the Exhibit Hall, climb the Bouldering Wall and who knows what goodies you'll find inside the gift shop.  Think of it this way, a little playtime indoors before tackling the great outdoors!

Mary Cokenour

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