At some point, the weather changes. Nature flips a switch.
Somehow the temps go from late Fall with its sunny, warm days and cool nights to early winter. Blustery wind, cold days and even colder nights occur.
But it is not a time to stay inside.
Though not the colder and snowier winters found in the Colorado high country, we still need the correct clothing, gear, and mindset to enjoy the blustery weather.
And that is how we set out to enjoy a weekend in the Upper Salt Creek area of Canyonlands.
A bit bumpier of a road to access to the area vs. our recent trip. But seemingly more isolated for that reason.
After camping out Friday night, we pulled up to the BLM trailhead and descended into the canyon.
And saw remnants of more recent times.
And at our camp, signs of earlier inhabitants.
The canyon walk itself gave us senes of the typical red rock, blue skies, and Navajo sandstone.
But also more intimate scenes that proved to be just as intriguing.
We soon reached the site of the famous “American Man” pictograph.
Handprints adorning the wall next to the striking blue, white, and red paint pictograph in an alcove above.
But more than the pictograph, the squash growing outside an old Pueblo dwelling intrigued us. A living link to the past where people farmed, dreamt and lived among the canyon walls.
Imagination almost brought forth the sound of grinding corn, children playing, and other echoes of the past.
The time came to make camp. We didn’t even bother to drop our packs as we scrambled up to an overlook. We wanted to catch the final rays of the setting sun.
The sound of coyotes yipping sang in the cold night as we settled in for a long sleep.
We made a point to explore a side canyon the following day. No trails and only a rough map showing some other possible sites. An occasional footprint just highlighted how few people came up here.
At least in our current times.
From afar, we could see other dwellings explored the previous day. The canyon floor connected all the communities.
We soon reached the point where we had to leave. Daylight is scarce at this time of the year. And a drive on a bumpy BLM road at night is no fun.
We reached the top of the canyon rim and took one last look over where spent the weekend. Knowing there is more to see and places to explore. We’ll be back.