Day four of the Utah Super Trip we decided on something a little more relaxed. From a pile of info I gathered, we set out in search of ancient ruins. We had to obtain a permit from the local BLM field office. When they asked us where we were going, they were surprised a couple clowns from Minnesota knew about specific sites. I learned that they will not give up any info on the whereabouts of any ruin unless you give a specific name for that site. Even then the directions would be difficult to follow. I did my homework well and had my own maps and names,we didn't need any direction.
First up was the $#%&@, sorry I'm not giving the name either. After visiting these places I realize how hard it is for the ranger/volunteers to reveal their location. I was concerned it would not be as cool as I was hoping for when woman at the permit office said this place had lost it's energy.What the heck was she talking about? When I got there for myself, I had to agree. When approaching the site which is located on a promontory rising high above the canyon floor, the ruins can not be seen until the last second when you turn the corner and it hits you. The initial site of the ruin was dulled by the people sitting right in front of it, scarfing down their snacks, flapping their jaws and wearing obscenely bright and mismatched clothes! It seemed like an insult to such a magnificent place. I moved around the back side where I could not hear them and tried to take in what I was experiencing, at the same time imagining what it was like to live there no less than 800 years ago. After the people left I was able to look over the ruins without distraction and snap some photos. As awesome as this place was the energy was gone.
From the same trail head we were able to access another set of ruins. They were located at the bottom of the canyon perched on a bench under an overhang. There were several kivas in various states, from mostly intact, to completely crumbled. This spot was very cool, remnants of broken pottery, chips from the construction of arrowheads or darts, and corn cobs, littered the ground, or were set on "shelves" on the rock face under the overhang. If we had more time I'm sure we would have noticed more details, so I took as many photos as I could and we were off to another spot.
A few hours from sunset and many miles from our last hike we set out to find another ruin. This one was supposed to be in excellent condition. We wandered down a canyon for a couple miles before we started looking for it's location. As with all the ruins in the area, it would be set above the canyon floor, under an overhang, and well hidden. It took a little while to find it, after ascending to the canyon rim twice. The sun was starting to set and I was on a mission, I was not leaving until I found it, from what I knew about this spot it was going to be awesome. I was first to see it, and awesome it was. I waited for a few seconds to look over the scene and try to absorb this amazing place before I called to Steve, who was checking another lead nearby. Before Steve got there I stood in amazement, the Kiva was completely intact with a ladder sticking out the rectangular hole. It was like some one had just left a few weeks ago, not 800 years. It was hard to leave so soon but the sun was setting and would be dark in less than an hour. We ended up hiking the last 30 minutes in the dark, tired form a long day, and our headlamps leading the way back to camp.
By all means get out there and see this stuff before it's gone, trampled, over managed, or your too old. Bring your close friends, family, kids or wife, and do it with respect, you will not be disappointed. There are already enough sites listing these ruins I just don't want to add to the amount of outside traffic. If you are interested and I know you, just ask and I will set you up with what I know, I'll even go back with you.
|Fat-bikes were the preferred mode of travel on the high-clearance roads|
|It looks like this everywhere|
|The ruins are on the opposite side of the point|
|Back on the canyon floor searching for kivas|
|This is the inside of a kiva, they are recessed into the ground and accessed by ladder. The walls inside look like old plaster, the ceiling is black with soot|
|On our way out we thought for sure there would be some ruins in this cave-like opening, there weren't|
|Not good for mini-van, Very good for fat-bike|
|On our way to the third ruin, near sunset|
|Amazing! the little white things are pieces of paper that say "DO NOT WALK ON ROOF" . Some dip shit's foot prints went right across the roof!|
|This is the same thing "they" saw when exiting the kiva|