Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Honoring The Ancient Ones, White Canyon

Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwelling ruin, White Canyon.
I followed the trail down from the rim once again. Switchbacking down the slickrock sandstone (which isn't slippery, even when wet). Down steps both built and cut, down some metal stairs. Down three wooden ladders bolted to the cliff. 

Then, down in the canyon bottom, the stream bed, there is no maintained trail. Doesn't need to be: the 500 foot tall canyon walls provide all the side rails you could want. 

I walked upstream, enjoying the solitude. Early December in a remote part of remote San Juan County, Utah. Colorado Plateau, canyon country. The stream was trickling between pools. Cold sandstone wall on the left side. Ice covering some of the pools, even. The last of fall's leaves frozen on top, slowly melting through, because they are darker than the white-blue ice and so absorb more of the day's warmth. Interesting to ponder a dead leaf being warmer than the ice around it.

I came to a wide bend in the little canyon. Looking up on the left hand cliff, I saw ruins. No real surprise. A south facing alcove of sandstone to catch all the low winter sun possible.

Cliff dwelling pueblo ruins. Probably a single family, a few rooms. According to the best archaeological information, they left about 800 years ago. And haven't come back. At least not to live there again. Their descendants may have visited. Probably did. They won't say. 

Just like I won't say exactly where this is located. Because if you really want to know you will do the work to find out. Hopefully that will also make you respectful enough to be guarded about who you share it with, too. 

When you respect a place, you love it. When you care for it, it cares back. It will probably even take care of you. 

Remember that.
T-shaped doorway, Ancestral Puebloan ruin, White Canyon.
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© Copyright 2014 Stephen J. Krieg

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