Spring On Cedar Mesa
So once again I have spent the last few weeks taking trips into the canyons of Cedar Mesa in search of ruins. I still can’t say that I have found all of the ruins I have been searching for but I did manage to find a few nice sites none the less! I started out the spring by returning to look for Cave 7, the historically significant site where Richard Wetherill identified the presence of the Basketmaker people. This trip I finally made it to Cave 7, of course it was midday and the light wasn’t great for photos so I am not posting any from that site. However, the nearby ruin site named Pastel Alcove Ruin is a beautiful ruin to shoot.
Since I found Cave 7 and Pastel Alcove Ruin I decided to move my ruin search to a new area, Natural Bridges National Monument. I actually had never really spent a lot of time in this part of Cedar Mesa until these last few weeks and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of ruins and the beauty of the area. On my first trip in the area I decided to hike from Sipapu Bridge to Kachina Bridge, this was a nice taste of White Canyon, which runs through Natural Bridges and contains the three natural bridges that the park is famous for. After doing that hike went for a bit longer one the next day, from Sipapu Bridge into the brush-filled reaches of Burch Canyon. That hike was great and there some nice ruins along the way, but I have to say that Burch Canyon is a beast not to be taken lightly. It’s filled with brush and definitely feels more like bush-wacking than canyon hiking.
None the less, I did find a few nice ruins and the small stream running through the canyon was beautiful.
The next trip that I took to Natural Bridges was even more successful. I have to admit that I had some help from a friend in finding these ruins which I had been looking for. The ruin is known as Remnant Ruin due to the small remnant of a pictograph that hangs above it, and the pictograph is known as Red Bear Panel, otherwise known as Red Dog Panel. Personally I think I’ll go more for Red Bear Panel, but each to their own on that one! There was also a small ruin right underneath Red Bear Panel and I thought it was interesting that among the ruins were a couple of old cut trees. On these trees there were some old metal tags that I am assuming must have been placed there to identify them as artifacts of some sort, or possibly to identify them when they studied them for tree-ring dating. Does anyone have any idea what purpose exactly those small, metal, numbered, tags might serve?
I also hiked into another ruin in the Natural Bridges area named Bigfoot Ruin. Apparently there is a large footprint near one of the doorways in this ruin and that is how the ruin was named. However I couldn’t find the footprint for the life of me! Guess I’m gonna have to go back and look again for that one.
I have to say that this ruin was really fun for me to shoot. I’m not sure what exactly made this ruin so interesting to me, whether it was the time of day and the light that was bouncing in the alcove or if maybe it was just the interesting structures that this site possesses. Either way it was a lot of fun shooting Bigfoot Ruins.
I can’t wait to get back and explore some more canyons in Natural Bridges, I’m sure there are many many more secrets waiting to be discovered!