For those that know me, know that I like finding and exploring Indian ruins. One area that I've been wanting to go to for a long time has been Beef Basin. Forty miles by both dirt and 4-wheel drive roads this was one of the reasons for this road trip. We left Moab after a great breakfast at the Moab Diner and drove south towards the Needle District of Canyonlands N.P. At first the road into Beef Basin is a good graded county road which at 40 MPH smooths out the washboard surface. The road climbs up to over 8,000 feet before descending into Beef Basin. The area is call Beef Basin for a reason.
The area has been used for the grazing of cattle for over 100 years, but long before that between 900 and 1200 AD, Indians farmed here. There are numerous ruins in the basin, some small and others large. Most are difficult to see and you really need to keep a lookout for them as they are sometimes hidden in the trees.
This is Farm House Ruin, on of the largest in the area. How they know this is any one's guess, but apparently this building was occupied during the 11th and 12th centuries and was home to people farming in the area.
We spotted this small ruin while driving down the road. It was just a chance glance in it's direction. I'm am sure we drove right past many ruins hidden among the trees.
We were going to camp in the basin but when we found a camping spot, the flying bugs were so thick it became miserable within minutes. We opted to head to higher and cooler ground. We found an ideal spot overlooking Salt Creek Canyon and the National Park.
The next morning we discovered we were covered with some type of insect bites. We had been experiencing this after each night in the tent. It wasn't mosquitoes, and upon closer inspection our foam pad had some spiders crawling about. So the first town we hit we disposed of our mattress. This made Cathie extremely happy as it meant B&B's and motels for the rest of the trip.
More to follow.....