Monday, April 5, 2010


I'm sitting on the second floor porch at Recapture lodge, looking out over the dusty parking lot to the red rock cliffs along the San Juan River. Lina is up and wandering around with the dog and the rest are still lying in bed. Its 9:00.....vacation time I guess, with no urgency to get up and cease the moment. maybe it was the long hike we did yesterday up to Long Finger. We got going around eleven in the morning, drove out along the desolate highway to a dirt road heading off into the desert. There one opens the cattle gate, making sure to close it behind you and sets the under age child behind the wheel. This time it was Victor. Their eyes really light up when you posse the question "So, Victor, would you like to drive the car?"
The next ten miles or so I had my hand on the emergency break, just in case. I told him to look old when he drove by another car! Instead he rolled down the window and shouted out!

We finally made it to our destination and all clamored out of the three vehicles. Our goal was about a mile up the narrow walled canyon. There we saw "Long Finger Ruin" sitting atop an over hanging alcove. We spent maybe an hour looking around the pottery shards and ruins. Outside of every Anasazi ruin there exists a lush field of Prickly Pear Cactus, the remains of the former dwellers bathroom. over the years of doing their business they fertilized the ground enough for the cactus to grow quite prolific.

We did lunch and decided to head up to the ridge line. Comb ridge in a layer of Navaho sandstone tipped at an incline with an abrupt 800 foot drop at the end. The views are really killer, so most times when we go exploring, a trip to the top is well worth it and it gives us a chance to discover more ruins.

This is Lottie, Kay and Karin on the ridge top.

Halfway up we found some pictographs on a sandstone wall. At the top some more grain storage structures off on a far cliff wall. To get to those would have been a major undertaking, forcing us to go back down the incline and back up a different side of the canyon. We had been hiking for a while and really didn't have the desire. The idea of heading back down sounded better to most. So we slowly made our way back to the car and gin and tonics at the hotel.

Richard Boyer

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