Saturday, October 13, 2012

Bluff, UT

Following Comb Ridge, I joined back up with the WINs outside of Bluff, UT.  Bluff was one of the settlements made by the Morman's who came west through the Hole in the Rock.  Not many people live in Bluff today, in fact, there isn't even a grocery store, but there is a lot of history and of course, Puebloan ruins.
Just south of town is the Sand Island Petroglyphs.  They are supposed to be about 800 years old, but I think some were carved much later.  Notice the cowboy on a horse in the lower left corner?  I don't think the Ancient Puebloans had horses 800 years ago.

But many of the petroglyphs are easily identified as Anasazi.

Much of the area is open grazing and sheep is the primary livestock of the area.  Even the grocery stores sell mutton and lamb chops.  These sheep are oblivious of my car.  Some of the herds have security dogs and they will bark at the cars, making sure they stay away from the sheep.  Many of the restaurants serve mutton dishes.  I had the daily special of mutton stew one day and it wasn't too bad.  Wouldn't want it to be my main diet, but it was ok.

Diana led us on a hike to the Butler Wash Petroglyphs.  It had been 5 years since she had been here and I think it had grown over quite a bit.  She called our foray through the Tamasik, Olive trees and Cottonwoods, as bushwacking and I wholeheartedly agree.  It caused my allergies to go nuts for the next few days.

But after about a mile of bushwacking, we found the petroglyphs.

And of course, there were ruins along the way.

Fort Bluff is a recreation of the original settlement.  But this wagon is one of the actual wagons which was brought through the Hole In the Rock to arrive at this location.  When the Mormon pioneers came to the Colorado River, they found they would have to traverse over 1000 foot down steep cliffs, to cross the river.  In six weeks time, winter was coming, they blasted, carved and chiseled a way down.  Taking one wagon at a time, they lowered each wagon slowly down the cliffs, on the roadway they made in the rock.  Despite the hardships, not one person perished in this trip and two babies were born on the way.

A recreation of the cabins the settlers built.  Just a one room cabin, entire families lived here.  What would our children of today think if they didn't have their own bedrooms?

Lots of horses also wandered the open range.

Deep in this crevase is the 17-Room Ruin.  Once easily accessible by crossing a footbridge on the San Juan River, then hiking about 1/2 mile to the ruins, the footbridge was destroyed several years ago in a flood.  Now, you have to drive about 20 miles to cross the river and arrive at the ruins. 

But Pat and I found the ruins and hiked up to see them close up.

The only way into the ruins was using the hollowed out foot and hand holds in the rock.

Once at the ruins we could look down on our RVs across the river.    Just a mile away, and yet it was over 20 miles to get here because of the river crossing.

Part of the old bridge which washed away in the flood.

I also kayaked the San Juan River while I was here.  Just a short 8 mile kayak from where we were parked, down to Sand Island.  Most of the river was quiet and there were some very shallow areas.  Of course, the one spot which had a little fast water, and a curve, I paddled right into the tree trying to stay off the sand bar and made the worst mistake you can make kayaking.  I grabbed onto the tree.  Yep, I did it, and yes, I tipped over.  Boy, the water was cold.  But I wasn't hurt, and was able to swim with my kayak over to the shallow area and dump out the water so I could be on my way.

1 comment:

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P.S. The Bluffs look beautiful!