South of Moab in the southeastern corner of the state is a large area where there is a concentration of Anasazi Ruins. These ruins vary is size, condition and ease of access. Two years ago, we explored some of these ruins, but only scratched the surface. On this trip we scratched a little more. Mike, having remembered a photo of House on Fire posted on the blog at the time, said he wanted to see it for himself.So en route to our next base in Bluff, we made a slight detour and took the short hike to the ruin.
HOUSE ON FIRE
Because it is easy to get to this ruin, it is one of the most photographed in the area. From the trailhead, it's less that a mile on a good trail. On this visit we noticed some pictographs that we hadn't seen before.
After arriving in Bluff, it was time to start roughing it again, so we found a campsite in town and set up the tents. I'm not sure what the attraction to sleeping in a tent is, but our next two nights showed us what the attraction is to sleeping in a motel. The first night was close to freezing and pretty miserable until Cathie allowed me to spoon. The second night was much warmer, but the wind blew so bad that all the sand on the outside of the tent ended up on the inside.
THE CAMP COOK
The day in between was beautiful and was spent exploring the Comb Ridge. From the east side there is a dirt road that allows access to many of the Anasazi ruins hidden within it's canyons. We selected two to visit. The first, called "Fish Mouth Cave" was a 30 minute walk from the road into the canyon.
THERE'S A RUIN IN THE FISH MOUTH CAVE
THE CLIMB UP
THIS COULD BE BETTER THAN THE TENT
The ruins we saw were in various states of repair. Some just a small portion of the walls remain. This one is pretty typical of one in good shape. Many fall down over time due to the weather, but many are destroyed by vandals or people looking for artifacts. The small building on the right appears to be on oven. It is built with earth and not the stone of the main building. The black on the ceiling is soot from years of fires. Most of these sites were occupied anywhere from 900 to 1300 years ago.
Our next stop was Monarch Ruin, again a short 30 minute from the road. This ruin was really impressive, but due to it's steep access with an exposure on a cliff, we elected to view it from a distance. Even where we were able to walk, there was evidence of old buildings and human activity. Lots of pictographs and petroglyphs on the cliff face.
I should have put my hand up next to these hand prints because they are really small. The large prints are about the size of a 10 or 12 year old child. There we many hand prints at this site.
After 1-1/2 weeks experiencing Gassaways Adventures, Mike and Nancy decided to head for the barn, while Cathie and I headed for the nearest motel. There as still a couple of places to explore around here, so the adventure continues.