A certain big trip from fall 2014 weighs heavy on my mind. Like no other experience I've yet had its scope and meaning have proved near impossible to write about. It is very much a work in progress and with this post I am taking a breather from the perceived burden. March is near over (how did that happen so quickly) and I felt a strong desire to get something out there. The following trip occurred roughly two falls ago.
It started in a celebratory fashion.
Soon we cast off from our gin soaked perch to canyon laden underworld.
At the base of our the descent we pause and contemplate the nature of going out the way we came in and meet a nice older (solo) archeologist based on the Navajo Reservation who had the place to himself - he tells us it is very much worth our time. Coming from someone who visits Anasazi sites on the de-facto wilderness Navajo Reservation this anecdote excites me.
Soon we are walking in a hard packed wash as pop corn clouds drift lazily over. Its easy to gawk and we have little mileage to make for the day.
Soon we come to the first of three gigantic desert springs. You can see why the place was popular with the Ancestral Puebloan group - to this day I cannot think of a place with so much clean running water spread out over miles.
I hope there will be enough......
We tank up and move on, passing more recent historical artifacts in the late afternoon light.
Eventually reaching camp we spread out as I explore the slick-rock above.
And take in a more macro glance.
Near our campsite (and a gushing spring) echoes begin to stir.
The next morning we begin walking and it doesn't take long to stumble onto a rather large site.
From the trail we glance across the drainage and make out another large site sheltered on a narrow shelf in a large alcove.
We follow a narrow trail to its base and though the ruins are unreachable to us there is plenty to look at.
We continue on to another side site. This one with what appears to be squash still growing at its base
And finally, a seemingly benign crack in the cliff walls houses the elusive treasure we've trekked so far to see.
We spend a great deal of time here taking in this well protected pictograph before heading out late in the afternoon.
Taking one last glance back.
And more gushing desert springs!
We reach camp just in time for the evening light display.
Cammie takes it in.
The next morning we are back on the trail, our curiosity still conspiring to lead us deeper.
The nature of the hike begins to change from an open drainage to one with much more foliage.
A recent flood passed through the area and the navigating becomes a bit more difficult.
But there is still much to see.
Water is plentiful as we approach camp.
Reflecting on the days findings.
In the evening I wander some more with camera in hand as the light begins to fade and the sandstone pinnacles surrounding us glow.
They're not too shabby in the morning either.
We push on - through the forest. This is a lush paradise in the desert.
Eventually the thicket is subdued and we spill out onto more familiar surroundings.
Did I mention how much water is here? In the desert no less.
Towards the end of our day, one of our group members bends over from fatigue.
We head out - to a ghost down of a National Park all courtesy of federal bickering. Both members of congress could use some time to reflect in places like this. We will be back.
Thanks for stoppin' by.