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Was: Re: Santhrax solo and style, now Cedar Mesa Hiking

Discussion in 'Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group' started by, Jun 13, 2006.

  1. -------------- Original message ---------------------- From: "scott c."
    Pleassssse post any trip reports. I have to sit at a desk dealing with folk's > most difficult problems all day. I neeeeed the escape during the day and a good > TR of just about anywhere is great. I even loved the thread and story's last > fall of different folks experiences on the Zion shuttle. It is something we all > have in common. I liked the thread about best places to eat. It is nice to > hear all different perspectives of canyoneering.
    Scott Card

    One more -- this was our most recent trip/


    We drove down via Highway 95 on Friday afternoon. The cottonwoods in North Wash are that early spring electric acid green that is so beautiful against the red cliffs. Rez Foul is still at low level, not as low as last summer, but the Colorado still really looks like a river at Hite.

    Due to the finding of dead deer mice, testing positive for bubonic plague at Natural Bridges NM, we went back to dry camping on BLM land on Cedar Mesa. It was heaven! No one on the entire road system we used (Slickhorn road) but us as far as we could tell. There were lots of rabbits running around -- both cottontail and jack. Several on the road too, providing tasty bits for ravens and hawks.

    We did a fairly lengthy day hike on Saturday, down a necessarily un-named canyon. We saw many lizards and heard canyon wrens all day long! A very large bird (hawk?) circled way high -- against the bright blue sky it looked white. We saw a huge nest in a hole high on a cliff -- bright white bird poop contrasting with the red rock. It looked like the nest was six feet across.

    Two and a half hours of walking, detouring around and through boulder fields, skirting dryfalls on ledges, soaking in the sights brought us to our first destination. The canyon opened up and along a long ledge under an overhang was an ancient village --at least six connected rooms, a couple of deep caves with masonry walls in front of them, and a few nice separate rooms or granaries. A large striped shield pictograph was on the back wall watching over all. We spent a good hour or more taking photos and just marveling at being in such a special place. There were pottery fragments worked stone chippings, and miniature corncobs scattered on the ground.

    A bit down canyon from the village we found a pretty large petroglyph panel with atlatls or prayer sticks, a nice spiral, birdheaded men, sheep in rows, the "standard" petro stuff :) Very nice. The light was not the best for photos, but we tried.

    We went up the next side canyon on a rumor of more ruins but only found a large seemingly empty alcove. There was a bit of pottery and lithic scatter on the floor of it, and then we noticed a large boulder with a petroglyph of a bighorn with it's body pecked in dots. Really nice! We didn't have time to look for other stuff we had heard about, so we will need to make this trip again. The hike out was about a half hour shorter since we found a trail that bypassed much of the boulder bashing we had done on the way in.

    We drove the few miles back to our camp and found another vehicle parked there -- no people. We assumed backpackers had entered the canyon where we were camped as we slept another night in solitude and never saw the hikers.

    A few cactus were in bloom, more still had buds, getting ready to pop. The globemallow along the roadsides were nice, but nothing like they were last May when Mary came out and the whole desert was orange! Photos here:


    Okay, someone else's turn to post some TR's!

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