Rim top wanderings

In the fall of last year, Joan went on a solo backpacking trip and met someone at a well-known panel who started a conversation with her.

This gentleman, who lives not far from us, picked up on Joan’s interest in obscure canyons, little-known archeological sites, and the love of looking at maps and plotting out routes. He shared some info with her, wrote some notes on the map, and we tucked away this info for another trip.

This weekend presented us with this opportunity.

We loaded the truck, made our way to points south, and found a quiet campsite to let us hike for two full days without driving once parked.

We set up camp and then walked up a wash that led to the canyon rim and a glorious spring day on the Colorado Plateau.

Lots of water this year. PCO Joan.

We soon found what we thought formed the base of a tower complex based on the location and size of the remaining bottom story.

Many lithics make me wonder how many people spent hours enjoying the same views that greeted Joan and me.

PCO Joan

After this jaunt, we returned to camp, relaxed for a bit, and then took a late afternoon hike from our campsite.

We continued walking along the rim, spotted a potential area, zoomed in with our binoculars, and made our way to what we spotted.

One structure seemed largely intact and had cobwebs along the door.

The site has not seen visitors for a while.

We then headed back to camp to settle in for the evening. Our secluded camp proved a gem and lent itself to a quiet and relaxing evening.

We were getting dinner going in camp. PCO Joan.

The following morning we again hiked from camp and went along the other side of the canyon.

The views reminded me a bit of Cayon De Chelly with its deeper canyon, red rocks, spires, and structures under the rim.

We found another tower overlooking the canyon and even more distant points along the rim.

A  break in the canyon led to other structures and a sheltered view under the canyon rim.

I was climbing through the canyon break. PCO Joan.

We went to another point from this tower that we had a hunch about.

Joan spotted an older-style pithouse, barely discernible, in the P-J forest. Many lithic scatters led up to the area. We did spot an intriguing sherd that, more than likely, all the rain and snow exposed only recently.

The large sherd with the handle is among the more unique artifacts we’ve spotted. And it’s stayed in this grove of woods, with no social trails, for many years.

Only the area locals see the site regularly.

We made our way back, paused for the last views, and continued to get drawn time and time again to this area full of beauty, history, and seemingly never-ending places to savor.

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1 year ago

Fantastic trip report!

Coming across old ruins and cabins is always a favorite part of hiking for me.