After last weeks Sierra Ancha Bushwack with Kyle the heartless. I planned to go back and find the other ruins where an original site tag was recovered. Planned on a Monday, but my wife was off work so changed the schedule to Tuesday. This gave me much less time to do this hike as I needed to be back to meet Mrs. Bart01 @5:45 to drive to Phoenix for our class to prep for baby Bart01's March arrival.
I've never been back from the Sierra Ancha before well after dark.
Got an early start and it took awhile to get moving or maybe it seemed that way as I decided to take a different route exploring which was about 900 vertical feet in the first .8 of a mile. I had spectacular views of Cherry Creek/ Coopers Forks cliff dwellings and all was completely quiet except for a guy on horseback calling his dog. I could see them below and he was in the brush. His dog had decided he had enough and bolted for the road and ran up to a clearing. It was actually quite amusing. I explored some features below V:1:136 as I had always come up the trail or Cold Springs lower canyon. Got a view of V:1:136 and it's balcony room all in one shot.
Also lost track of time, but finally pressed on. Still some fall colors to be had in the canyon down below.
As I said before the main goal was to get to a seldom visited ruin. From what I had read this had a couple of interesting features. One wall was built on an immovable boulder, the door was sealed. The hike to these ruins was much the way my day started bushwacking through trail less steep terrain with thorns and high exposure. On my way back I came to a spot that I recognized traversing to the point where I was at and couldn't stomach going back across this ledge and had to find a different route.
I got to within an hour of my turnaround time and decided to head up slope as I was at this point well below where I thought they might be. I couldn't see anything that looked like it might have a cliff dwelling and picked a spot resigning to find some shade for lunch. For those of you that have done Devil's Chasm this last climb was steeper and more elevation gain in roughly the same distance. It required some bouldering and was completely through brush and thorns. I hoped I could at least get a vantage point where maybe I could see something. I stopped in a shady overhang dropped my pack and dug into my cold leftover turkey chili with some cornbread thrown in. (surprisingly good when your hungry)
I was relaxing and trying to figure out if there was a better way down as I looked to my right and there they were!
I couldn't believe my eyes. I had walked right under them to get to my lunch spot and they were not visible. As you can see in the pictures a lot of damage from trees. The SAP said they recovered two complete and one less complete jar from a pot hunters backdirt.
The red one had patterned fire-clouding which was more of a Hohokam trait. Didn't see any corncobs, pottery sherds etc. Did find numerous outlying partial walls and some walled in small alcoves with evidence of fires. If you go looking for these take a partner and any kind of brush protection you can find. I shredded a long sleeve, pair of pants, and spent quite a bit of time removing all the thorns and sharp leaves that stuck to my back pad and shoulder straps. As I said before the exposure is pretty bad in spots. I'm not sure how many large stones I kicked loose and listened fall all the way to the canyon floor.