An Extra Hour

ImageWith daylight savings time arriving tomorrow, a common question, “how will you spend your extra hour?”  I have to laugh at my thoughts on this.  I have a interpersonal hotly contested love/hate relationship with daylight savings time.  I love to have the extra light to get some extra things done outside, and to have a little longer time for the kids to roam and play, not under my feet and complaining about not getting to watch the latest “dumb cartoon”. (My thoughts, not theirs) On the flip side, there is the tricking my body that it really is time to get up and bake the bread, even though it is still so dark and cold; and trying to explain to the tourists that come through, that, “the restaurants will all be closing very soon”, because of the very complicated time vortex that we live in bordering the Navajo Reservation and Arizona.  This particular item may need a little explanation if you don’t live here… you see the state of Arizona doesn’t observe daylight savings time, unless you are on the Navajo reservation which does.  It is particularly confusing for our foreign travelers who are here to visit as many of the West’s wonders in a short amount of time, leaving them driving from state to state between Nevada, Utah and Arizona in a matter of days crossing boarders frequently. Wow, that all scrambles my brain just thinking about it!  Anyway, I hope that your adventures in the great outdoors with an extra hour to spend there lead to many wonderful new discoveries in Utah’s wonderful canyon country.

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Early Spring Hikes

Image With daytime temperatures averaging in the mid 50’s, clear blue skies and great hiking weather await you in Bluff, Utah.  The early spring months (February and March) are great times to take advantage of our breathtaking area without the heat and crowds of the summer.  Bluff is centrally located to many state, national and tribal parks.  We are a 45 minute drive to Hovenweep National Monument, Monument Valley Tribal park, National Bridges National Monument and Canyonlands National Park.  This time of the year is also a great time to explore the lesser known but equally spectacular state parks, Goosenecks State Park is a must see as you wind your way on  the scenic Mokee Dugway which leads to Cedar Mesa and the multiple hiking opportunities offered in the Glen Canyon Recreational Area.  Pack your hiking shoes, water bottles, a light jacket and of course your camera and enjoy a quick getaway in the great outdoors!  There is no better time than right now! 

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Enter 2014 in Bluff style

IMG_0115  The little town of Bluff knows how to ring in the new year in style.  This year 2014 kicks off with the annual lighting of the mountainous bonfire in the center of town on New Years Eve, starting around 6:30 or so, the locals gather to get rid of the last years yard trimmings, and say hello to all of our friends.  In addition to the huge fire, there are several small fires with lots of hot dog and marshmellow roasting spots.

The height of our January celebration comes a few weeks later, as the skies of Bluff are filled with the colorful globes.  These giant beauties grace our canyons and blue skies this year in the mornings of January 17-19th for the 16th annual Bluff International Hot Air Balloon Festival.  This year Bluff Elementary kids kick things off by creating their own paper hot air balloons which they will launch and fly on the afternoon of the 16th.  Braving the chilly morning air is quite rewarding as you watch the giant balloons inflate and play on the canyon walls surrounding Bluff.  The event is not solely limited to watching balloons in the mornings, make a whole weekend out of the festival by being entertained by the Bluff Elementary students as they preform at a Navajo taco fund raising dinner on Friday night;  then come again for more fabulous food with the cook-off competition and art show on Saturday afternoon.  The evening is then completed with skies being lit up once again with the balloon glow-in.  Sunday morning we all get up and caravan to  the Valley of the Gods for some more spectacular flying.  We hope to see you all as you come help our little village get the year started off in beauty!

 

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Utah’s many Parks

Utah's many Parks

Don’t let the government shut down spoil your vacation.  Utah has over 50 State and Tribal Parks that rival our National Parks and Monuments.  To see a list of these parks please visit www.stateparks.utah.gov or contact us at La Posada Pintada in Bluff Utah for help in planning your vacation.

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The Milky Way

The Milky Way

Did you know that 3/4 of the world population can’t see the Milky Way due to light congestion? Thinking about that makes me sad as it has been such a presence for me my whole life. We in Bluff are so lucky to live in an area without a shortage of celestial wonders. August is one of my favorite star viewing times of the year because in the 2nd week of the month you can enjoy the Milky Way along with the Perseid Meteor showers. Come spend some time in Bluff and watch natures fireworks in all of their glory.

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Cinco De Mayo, Bluff Style

guacamole  Cinco de Mayo, a holiday that is mostly celebrated in the United States and Puebla Mexico.  In Bluff, we are not afraid to indulge in one of our favorite holidays!  Whether it be gathering around a table full of fabulous Mexican cuisine  or enjoying the late spring night listening to the crickets with your favorite beverage.  We are awfully glad that the town of Puebla Mexico found it’s independence so that we can all have the excuse to gather together and enjoy our neighbors company at the start of this busy season in Bluff.  Salud to all!

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Southwest Color

2010_05_30_Collard_Lizard-L  I love it when we have time to go out and explore, time to remember why we work so hard to be here!  Today our hike consisted of warm sunshine, and a gentile breeze.  The wild flowers are in full glory; their reds, yellows and purples make the landscape even more vibrant than usual.   The lizards are warming up and coming out and about.  The kids and I love to follow their tracks in the sand to see it we can spot the intensely colored  Eastern Collard Lizard, his vibrant hues in full glory to try to attract some luck lady.  With all of this beauty, who wouldn’t make the time to head outside and enjoy the wild?

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Blossoms in the air…

IMAG0100Nothing brings the feeling of excitement of the upcoming tourism season to me more than the blooming of the apple trees.  As a little girl, growing up in a heirloom apple orchard, these little white an pink gems attacked all of your senses and promised warm days of romping in the tall grass of the orchard.  As I got older and moved to the red rocks of Bluff, the apple blossoms were a signal of the arrival of the river season, and with it all of our beloved river guide staff.  Today, there is little that I enjoy more, than a quiet moment relaxing in the warm sun with the spring breezes carrying in the scent of the spring blossoms.  The decks are waiting, the sun is shining and the blooms are calling your name.  Don’t forget to take a moment out of your busy day and stop by to find your own spring memory.

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Bringing in Spring with Birdsong

western tan

Studio 360 (an NPR radio show) had a feature article on bringing in spring with birdsongs today, they are having a listener challenge to pair bird songs with other interesting sounds to represent spring.  As bird watching is a little hobby of mine, I listened to the segment and thought with excitement of our migrating feathered friends that will soon be joining us.  Bluff, being on the banks of the San Juan River and in a slightly warmer climate than some of our neighbors, is a great place to bird watch.  In the winter we are graced with lots of Junco’s, some Western Bluebirds and many Canada Geese.  As the spring arrives one of my favorite activities is to find a good spot in the sun, whether it be up one of the many canyons to explore, the back yard garden or on the banks of the muddy San Juan, with my binoculars and Peterson’s Bird Guide of Western Birds and enjoy the show.  Another great way to learn about and enjoy birds in our area would be to join Wild Rivers Expeditions for their 4-day river trip starting May 5th, 2013 experiencing birds in their natural habitat and exploring their presence in prehistoric rock art panels with Rock Art specialist Sally Cole.  For more information about this trip visit http://www.riversandruins.com (Wild Rivers Expeditions).  Whether you are a beginning bird watcher or a seasoned birding enthusiast, this quiet little town of Bluff will offer you a great experience.  Come visit us and find out!

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Pour-off Waterfall, Bluff Utah

Pour-off Waterfall, Bluff Utah

Waterfalls like this are created by a strong rain storm. These storms generally occur during the late summer monsoon season, however, we were blessed today to have the sky  open up and bring in the water that gives life to our desert region.  Rain in the Southwest is a special thing to whiteness. During the late winter and early spring this rain brings our trees a much needed drink after a cold winter.  It also usually comes in the form of a late, wet and heavy snow in our surrounding mountains, which means water for later in the summer.  If you are fortunate enough to be in an area that receives little water for most of the year, you are going to whiteness a magical transformation of the land as the water is absorbed, stored and shed.  Strong storms bring what we locals in town like to call pour-offs.  These temporary water falls occur when the ground is very wet, the water runs down from the tops of sand stone cliffs into natural low spots.  These low spots eventually fill and spill over.  If this happens on a cliff face, which Bluff is surrounded by, the water pours over the cliff wall creating a powerful temporary water fall.  These falls will often only last for a short period of time but are spectacular to see.  After the rain has been absorbed you can literally watch a transformation of the land scape, the smell is magical as the three winged sage brush opens up and you will almost instantaneously  notice the plants getting greener as they come alive with the water.  Our wild flowers of the spring rely on these early storms to help bring their blooms to full glory.  This year promises to be a great year to come and whiteness early croppings of purple Scorpion Weed, followed by more purple in the form of Lupin and then roadsides full of orange/red blossoms of Globe-mallow.  Topped off with the greens of spring from above, it is truly a magical experience. ( This picture was taken in Cow Canyon, Bluff Utah)

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