Saturday, April 11, 2009
Saturday was the day that my original plans really changed. The preceding night it had started raining and ended up raining most of the night and into the morning. Temperatures had also dropped quite a bit and there was snow above 6000ish feet.
Early morning rain to start the day…
My original destination was to check out Ruin Park and Beef Basin. I made my way south to UT 211 and headed towards Canyonlands National Park. Then I hung a left and headed up Cottonwood Canyon.
The road started out fine, but once I got next to Bridger Jack Mesa the road became much slicker and muddier.
By the time I reached the other end of Bridger Jack Mesa, I was sick of all the mud so I decided to turn around and head elsewhere. I will head back later this year when it is a bit drier 😉 On the way back, I got off Cottonwood Canyon Road and headed down onto North Cottonwood Road.
This was a fun little loop that followed the creek bed for a little ways…which was flowing pretty good for obvious reasons.
After making it back to the highway, I looked at my maps and guide books and figured I’d head further south to try and avoid the bad weather. My new destination was Montezuma Canyon which takes off just south of Monticello and ends near Hovenweep National Monument. The weather was still on and off rain, but this was an easy road that wasn’t muddy.
After dropping down into the canyon I quickly came across a few modern cave dwellings
Then I had to avoid this huge pothole in the road (I couldn’t see the bottom).
There were also some much older cave dwellings high up along the canyon walls
Eventually I reached the highlight of this trail: Three Kiva Pueblo
It’s a fully restored kiva that you can climb down into.
After spending some time exploring the kiva, I finished off the trail and made my way back up though Blanding. By that time it was raining pretty good again, so I figured I’d stop at the Edge of the Cedars Museum to get out of the weather for a while.
There were a ton of great artifacts excavated from ruins around the area that were cool to check out. There was even a whole room completely full of shelves of pottery. It was a great way to spend a few hours. Out back behind the museum was another restored kiva that could be climbed in, too.
On my way back to camp I stopped in Monticello to fuel up and grab a bite to eat. By the time I reached camp, I still had some daylight left and the weather had cleared up a little bit. I noticed on my map that there was a short trail nearby that ended at an overlook of Hart’s Draw. So I went to check it out.
Headed towards Wind Whistle Rock
It turned out to be a fast, fun and sandy road much of the way. There were two sections of slickrock to cross, but the way was easily found across them. There were even two ledges to climb. This trail had everything in just under 1.5 miles. Closer to the overlook, the trail was a little used two-track.
View from the Wind Whistle Overlook
…and finally headed back to camp for the night.
Even though the weather pretty much sucked most of the day, I still managed to check out some cool new places. Stay tuned for the Sunday report 🙂