I took off on another solo trip to southern Utah to hike down a canyon and visit an arch located there. (The canyon and arch names have been omitted on purpose.)
Instead of hiking back the way I came, I choose to climb up a difficult slope so I could walk the rim back. It took a grueling hour of climbing to reach the top only to find a hidden rim of cliffs blocking my way. I spent quite a while bush-whacking to find a crack to crawl up to finally reach the top. Once on top, I just laid on the rock gasping for breath. (Maybe that climb wasn’t such a great idea.)
I then decided to hike cross country to another nearby canyon and explore it instead.
While hiking through the cedar forest between canyons, I start seeing Indian pottery fragments on the ground. Soon there were so many it was difficult to walk in some areas without stepping on them. I then stumble across a large circular structure where only short remanents of walls remain. The pottery shards seem to circle this structure.
I am amazed at the quality of the pottery shards. Though these pieces have been sitting in the weather for hundreds of years, the intricate patterns and designs are bright and beautiful. Some were obviously bowls, some pots, some with handles, some with designs on the inside, some with designs on the outside. Wondrous!
Again, I take lots of pictures and touch nothing.
Later while walking along the rim of the other canyon, I find ancient cliff dwellings hidden just under the rim. Some of the dwellings that are hidden furthest from the outside are very well preserved. You can still see the finger marks of the ancient Indians as they pressed mud into the cracks between the rocks of these shelters. I almost expect the former inhabitants to still be there.
I LOVE these places!
Later that evening, I am barely able to drag myself back to my vehicle. Exhausted… Too much fun.