I had two separate ruins I wanted to see on the Cedar Mesa but off the main beaten path. I car camped on the mesa top with scattered rain and wind. Then it all faded out to a nice night and better morning. The ruin I wanted to see was intriguing to me in that the roof seemed not only intact but with reed lashings with the hand tied knots still intact from 800-900 years ago.
I motored on down the shallow wash, and as most Cedar Mesa canyons it started to rock up and drop, then open up to views down the canyon. I passed by a shallow pour over with a nice pool, spring fed with a small dark alcove under it. Reeds and willows grew in a little bunch here. A ledge developed and I followed it, the canyon bottom full of broken boulders and other chaos. The ruin was there suddenly, on my ledge, and I carefully inspected the area, small, few structures. The roof was remarkable, fully intact, and did not look restored or rebuilt. I looked at the reeds woven into the wood to keep it in place as the mud set. I thought of the area of reeds and willows upcanyon, same supplies in place hundreds of years later.
I walked farther down the canyon a little. I wanted to go on but I had another place to go. Drive on a short distance. I parked at the wrong place but after I was out of the car knew I could get to the canyon head this way to. I was glad I parked in the wrong place. There were several interesting dirt mounds near the car. I walked around and low and behold hundreds of pottery shards. Some were arranged, some were in the dirt. Many types and colors, corrugated, plain, black on white, red, plain, chert chippings. What went on here?? A major gathering place of the pot hunters?? The pottery makers?? Stuff brought up out of the canyon???
I walked on to one of the canyon heads. Didn't look too tough to get in. I knew from my information it shouldn't be too hard to get to this ruin, a substantial one of more than a few buildings on a high ledge. But it would be definitely a harder hike than the previous. Down and over, then up and over, now walk along this ledge, can't go off here, what about over there. Canyon floor falling far away, now much nearer the rim. Hmmmm, footprints, I follow, but sometimes people are lost and not leading you to anything. I round the corner, just aerial views of the developing canyon. I see the first wall blending into the ledge. I am here.
Some of the rooms are intact, some in rough shape. Some seemed to have been graineries, or multiple compartments to one dwelling. One doorway is way cool with it's curvy shape. Someone set the large blocking stone back in the door of the nicest most intact dwelling. Lots of corncobs here, pottery again, etc. I like these more remote tumble down dwellings. Stuff is left here, like it used to be in Grand Gulch before it was more known and visited.
I take lots of pictures then start back reluctantly. There is a point with some hoodoo rocks I walk out on, I can't go out this way as it cliffs out; but sure enough a lot of pottery shards here too. With these views I would have spent some time here too.
Clouds come sailing in, big puffy ethereal and beautiful. I hike back taking a little different route, a slanted bench about 300 feet off the deck. I gain the rim and walk back through the low woods to the car. Think about all I've seen and done. My body is tired but my spirit is grateful.