Wednesday, May 21, 2014


So after tossing the mattress we headed south spending sometime exploring Upper Butler Wash, an area we've been to before.  I've finally been able to put my boots on so it was time to burn some calories.  The last time we abruptly ended our exploration when we came across a guy who had seriously injured his knee. You can read about it HERE.  So we returned to finish our exploitation.  A short hike up the wash, which has a small stream, we spied a trail heading up the bank, which means perhaps there is something there.  This is what we found.

This ruin is call Target Ruin and due to it's location it is impossible to get inside it. That is probably one reason why it is in such great condition.  The plaster remains on some of the structure and much of the roof.  To get a better look we climbed up the opposite side of the canyon to an alcove.  If  you look closely in the photo below you can see another ruin on the left and something behind the trees in the alcove.


Once inside the alcove we saw evidence of habitation with the remains of a structure and some grinding areas on the rocks.

On the wall of the alcove we found this petroglyph which looks like a "target"

Looking across the canyon at the main ruin, you can see the same "target" painted on the wall inside the ruin.

In the next photo you can see the remnants of the same target in the upper half of the wall. 

For me, someone who really likes exploring these ruins this was one of the better ones I've seen because the paintings are still visible.


It was time to head to our next overnight stop in Bluff.  Since the tent had been ruled out we found lodging at the Recapture Lodge.  From the web site:

"Recapture Lodge has been an oasis for Southwestern visitors for over fifty years. Shady picnic areas offer relief from the southwestern sun. Self guided walking and mountain bike trails take visitors from Recapture Lodge to the San Juan River. 
Slide shows are presented in the lobby for guests by local geologists, archaeologists, naturalists and other interesting people as scheduling allows."

We've stayed at the lodge before, just really an old motel with character.  Breakfast is self serve and payment was on the honor system.  Toast? 5 cents, a bowl of cold cereal 25 cents, coffee was free.  Then someone complained on the web site Tripadvisor that they were being nickeled and dimed.  I guess you could say they were.  It was a 50 year tradition that ended with the complaint.  Now it's free.

The next morning before the heat, we drove to River House Ruin located about 5 miles off the highway on the San Juan River.  The 4-wheel drive road in wasn't too bad except of this one spot.

The location on the river was not just home to the Anasazi, but in later times there was a trading post and cattle operations.  The ruin has easy access and you can enter it and explore.

It is quite common to find corn cobs in the ruins in the area.  Corn was grown by the inhabitants and was a staple in their diet.

Cathie opted to sit in the car while I explored.  She told me that she was ruined out. In fact she said she didn't care to see another ruin....ever.  I figured I better listen to her, at least for the time being.

Because camping has been cancelled on this trip the planned route had to be adjusted.  We turned around and headed back to the north driving through the Valley of the Gods on our way to Monticello.



In Monticello we stayed at the Grist Mill Inn B&B.  Very nice accommodations in an old flour mill.  This brings up and interesting comparison.  Cathie really liked this place so it was had for me to understand why she didn't like ruins.  I mean both places were really old and corn was ground in each.

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