Walking Through Time

perfect kiva, bullet canyon
Perfect Kiva Ethereal : Prints Available

Ancient Puebloans, or Anasazi occupied southern Utah’s canyons for roughly 13,000 years, used kivas for ceremonies (mostly male) and sometimes habitation. Perfect Kiva is the one structure that visitors are encouraged to enter and is spectacular. Descending the ladder into the dusty confines, much warmer than above, I could feel a presence. So, I asked our friends on this backpacking adventure to move about during a long exposure to capture some of what I was feeling in this extraordinary place. Perfect Kiva is high in a drainage, beneath an alcove above Bullet Canyon. 

I had the map for about ten years, a dream trip into a network on canyons in Utah’s Cedar Mesa, south of Blanding, Utah with the highest concentration of ancient Native American ruins anywhere. A gathering of adventuresome hiking pals took us to Cedar Mesa and Grand Gulch for a backpacking trip unlike any other. From ~ 12,000 BC to 1,260 AD, the Ancient Ones thrived in southern Utah’s canyonlands, leaving behind magnificent ruins, stories written on canyon walls in ancient hand, pieces of life in a harsh land, all wrapped in mystery. Long thought to have simply vanished, these Ancient Puebloans left the arid canyons in the 13th century to build a new life throughout the four corners region – these Natives of the southwest are still here. For those of us fortunate to visit, a rare glimpse into life before white Europeans awaits. Continue reading “Walking Through Time”

Earth Day(s) Walk in Dominguez Canyon Wilderness

Dominguez-cyn

Sunrise on Big Dominguez Creek, Dominguez Canyon Wilderness, Colorado

Whatcha gonna do on the planet today? New Riders Of The Purple Sage

We found ourselves kicking off the backpacking season during Earth Day week, a three day trip that felt just right. Dominguez Canyon Wilderness Area was just designated wilderness in the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 and is within the larger Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area. We accessed at the Bridgeport trailhead, south of Grand Junction and a few miles of gravel road west of Highway 50. “Untrammeled” is written into the Wilderness Act of 1964: “A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his works dominate the landscape, is recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” The idea of wilderness is one of the mast brilliant things our country has ever done, yet Dominguez Canyon is largely defined by its importance to man. Human history is quite literally written in stone. From the BLM brochure: “Red-rock canyons and bluffs hold geological and paleontological resources spanning 600 million years. Rock art on the canyon walls and archaeological sites on the mesas are evidence of thousands of years of Native American use, including hunting and travel from the Gunnison River Valley to the Uncompahgre Plateau. The wilderness also contains historic features left by the early miners and settlers who lived and worked throughout the area.” Today, its archeological treasures are protected, along with the resident desert bighorn sheep herd, collared lizards, mountain lion, black bear, mule deer – too many flora and fauna species to list here. As you ascend along Big Dominguez Creek pouring cold water off of the Uncompahgre Plateau, it’s easy to see why humans and wildlife have thrived here for thousands of years. It’s a magical place to explore and revel in the tranquility, to soak in the idea of wilderness. Continue reading “Earth Day(s) Walk in Dominguez Canyon Wilderness”

High Desert Getaway

north window, turret arch
Turret Arch Through North Window : Prints Available

Sunrise paints North Window and Turret Arch in gold one spring morning. Arches National Park in home to the highest concentration of natural arches in the world.

With winter trying to make up its mind, we headed for the high desert of the Colorado Plateau. Winter did make up its mind, as we skirted a pileup in a whiteout near Frisco, Colorado and got snowed on in Moab, Utah. Who cares? We got out and saw some country on foot in the desert and skis on the Grand Mesa, a 10,000 foot plateau that rises from the surrounding desert landscape. What a hoot! A few images follow: Continue reading “High Desert Getaway”