Monday, April 12, 2010


Last night the water bottles outside the tent froze solid, yeah it was @#&# cold. My sleeping bag didn’t seem to do the job. I woke up multiple times trying to throw cloths on top of the bag in a futile effort to keep warm. I felt I was up most of the night waiting for the sunlight to come, after several hours it finally did. I still stayed in the sleeping bag hoping it would warm up more. Then I heard someone outside boiling up some water, but that wasn’t enough to get me up, instead it was the call of nature…..there is after all only so long you can hold it!

An hour later the sun arrived at our campsite and the temperature soared up to the point of putting on shorts or sweating to death. That’s what the weather was predicting, warmer and warmer daytime temperatures; I just was hoping for the nights to get better.

The main ruin on the list for today was the Green Mask, about a mile or so up stream in Grand Gulch. We left our packs their at the camp since we would be coming back the same direction to head down stream later on. Without fifty pounds on your back, one just seems to float along, our feet just bounding along the stream bed as we flew along.

First to come up on our left was a two-story ruin with Wetherill’s name carved next to it on the sandstone. These guys came through the area about a hundred years ago doing amateur archeology. Most of the time they were just digging up what ever they could find and selling it off to the museums back east. The rules have changed quite a bit since then and now a day it’s the law to leave all artifacts in place.

Further up stream we went part way up Shieks Canyon. There up on the left we saw a small painted green head, called the Green Mask high up the side of the cliff wall.

Remains of a kiva and a few structures were also there. Some of the Pictographs dated back to 6500 B.C.

The time was now after 2:00 and we hadn’t made any headway to our next campsite. So we hurried back to our first site and made lunch. We really needed to put a few miles behind us; our second campsite was Green Canyon. There we saw another cliff dwelling that presented more of a challenge to get to. About halfway up the sandstone wall was a small ruin with a greenish plaster coating on the outside. The view was spectacular from that location and we hung out there in the shade as the colors became more intense with the late afternoon light.

Our campsite was just around the corner and the evening temperature was already proving to be warmer.

Richard Boyer

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