Ever since 2000, it seems I spend almost every Thanksgiving weekend somewhere in the desert.
I’ve had some exceptions over the years, but the four-day weekend means enjoying the gift of time while camped out in a quiet place, smelling the sagebrush, and walking along the red rocks.
This year proved no different.
We found a dispersed site I know of from before with views to Bears Ears and the Blue Mountains. A perfect place affording hikes with little driving or even hikes right from camp.
Out friend Mike joined us for the weekend. We’ve slowly seen friends we have not seen since pre-COVID, and it’s a pleasure to reconnect and share places Joan and I know well.
Joan and I showed Mike some favorites from our hiking past that we never tire of experiencing.
And, as always, we seem to notice items we did not see previously.
What we enjoy about the area is the cultural and historical landscape and the beauty of the canyons themselves.
Joan, Mike, and I also took in some places new to all of us. Places that continue to take in the landscape and connect our corner of the Colorado Plateau.
Not far from the mesa top Pueblo, we found a more recent wickiup that could go back three hundred years with lithics nearby.
Mike left us the following day made his way back to the Denver area. Joan and I could make a leisurely day with only a two-hour drive from home. We hiked up a canyon we knew about and wanted to see for some time.
The canyon forms a logical place to the current town up the canyon, and we saw much evidence of people traveling the canyons in the past
.The granaries may not grab the attention of more noted buildings, but the structures echo back to when more people lived in the area than currently.
We call the reaches of the Colorado Plateau isolated and empty in some ways. But every canyon gives signs of the extensiveness of the communities that lived here in the past. We may call the area wilderness today, but that seems an almost artificial construct of our modern times. The places retain a character of wildness but is it “wilderness?” Perhaps only from a particular view.