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Far out, man

One hundred miles.Eighteen days.Three friends.In September of 2004, Vaughn Hadenfelt, David Roberts, and Greg Child sought out Anasazi and Navajo Indian ruins and rock art along Comb Ridge in Utah and Arizona. The journey became the subject of Robert’s recently published book, “Sandstone Spine: Seeking the Anasazi on the First Traverse of the Comb Ridge.”

The trip will also be the topic of discussion and a slide show at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Glenwood Springs Library, as Hadenfelt returns to his former home to speak. The library and Through The Looking Glass bookstore present the free program.”It was basically three friends getting together and hiking this whole thing,” said Hadenfelt, from his Far Out Expeditions headquarters in Bluff, Utah. “We did lots of exploring. We were in the many side canyons off the Comb Ridge.”Hadenfelt, founder of Summit Canyon Mountaineering, is a guide in the Four Corners region. He and his friends decided they would be the first to make a continuous trek across the rugged Comb Ridge landscape in southeastern Utah and Arizona.”It was fairly grueling. The ridge is like the teeth of a comb it undulates, goes up and down,” said Hadenfelt, who started the Glenwood Chapter of the Colorado Mountain Club. “We were hiking a lot. Sometimes we were carrying up to three gallons of water. It was a hot September, mid 90-degree weather. We had some water issues.”During the trip, the trio encountered archaeological gems such as Indian artifacts, petroglyphs, prehistoric-era rock formations, and sandstone ruins. Many of the petroglyphs featured drawings of bighorn sheep, Hadenfelt said.

“It was an Anasazi smorgasbord,” he said.Tuesday’s program will feature slides from the trip, along with expeditions through the Four Corners from Bluff to the Navajo Reservation to Cedar Mesa, Hadenfelt said. “The whole show will not be just on Comb Ridge,” he said. “I call it ‘Comb Ridge and Beyond.'”Hadenfelt will show a few of Roberts’ slides, as well as many of his own from his travels. He has been guiding in the Four Corners for 20 years, and started Far Out Expeditions 15 years ago. He hopes to see locals, who have also been his customers in the past, come out to the program.



“I certainly have guided a lot of people from Glenwood,” he said.Hadenfelt has been on many backpacking expeditions in his career, but the Comb Ridge traverse is one he won’t forget.”It was a really good trip,” he said. “It was just three guys going for a walk.” “Sandstone Spine: Seeking the Anasazi on the First Traverse of the Comb Ridge,” by David Roberts, is available at Through the Looking Glass and online at http://www.mountaineersbooks.org.


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