Turkey Day Weekend '09

It’s been a nice four-day weekend, and what’s nicer is that I’ve got every Thursday and Friday off for the rest of the year. I spent this Thursday doing the usual–Thanksgiving at my mom’s house. I always look forward to get-togethers with my family. My mom deep fried the turkey for the first time this year and it turned out great. We watched Star Trek after dinner, which was the third time I’d seen it in the past week. I had planned on going for a hike near Prickly Pear Flat on Friday, but my cold kept getting worse throughout the day Thursday so I decided to rest Friday instead. I slept in–a rare treat for me–then spent the day watching movies.
My cold didn’t seem as bad Friday, and my cough subsided quite a bit, so on Saturday I woke up early and went on that hike. I parked the truck just past the cattle guard on Big Flat, then rode my ATV to Prickly Pear Flat. It was only a three-mile ATV ride (one way), but it was worth it to avoid driving my truck over that part of the road–it has some really nasty spots. I parked the ATV at the wooden barricade at the wilderness study area boundary and then hiked about 0.2 miles farther along the road before turning northwest and heading cross-country. I had to pick a route that crossed several sandy washes and expanses of sandstone. I eventually reached the top of a long, narrow plateau that’s only about a quarter-mile wide at its widest point, and I followed its southern edge as I hiked west toward where the plateau ends in a point. That point sits just above the confluence of Pine Canyon and Calf Canyon, though the bottoms of the canyons lie just over 1,000 feet below the point, with sheer cliffs leading straight down to the canyon bottoms. The view from the point was amazing. There were some people camped in Calf Canyon below me, and I spent some time there observing them and enjoying the view all around me. I placed a geocache there, then headed back, taking a different route this time. The return hike was much nicer. The sun came out (it had been overcast and dreary up until then), and the terrain was much more interesting. I ran into Lynn Sessions (and, I’m assuming, his brother David) during the ATV ride back to the truck, though I didn’t know it was him until I got back to the truck and found his Explorer parked next to me. I’m not even sure how I knew it was him because I don’t specifically recall seeing a photo of his vehicle online, but something rang a bell when I saw it. For anyone who doesn’t know Lynn, if you look at just about any place in Utah in Google Earth, you’ll likely see Lynn’s photos there via Panoramio. Here are my photos from the hike, including one taken last year from Buckhorn Wash looking up at Prickly Pear Point (yes, I’ve wanted to do this hike since well before then).
Today I put the Christmas lights up on the front of the house, but I spent the rest of the day being a bit bored. The last few days have been a welcome break from work, but I don’t think I’ll mind a few days of work before my next four-day weekend.

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