Wednesday, April, 29.
The morning was bright, clear and cool with just a slight breeze.
Around 9:00 we started on today’s trip to Natural Bridges National Monument and Hovenweep National Monument.
We headed south from Blanding on Utah 191 until we got to Hwy 95 where we turned West.
After the first couple of miles we started getting into some great scenery.
At one spot the road was cut right through the mountain leaving high cliffs rising on both sides.
When we came out of this cut in the mountain we came upon a beautiful vista.
About 10 miles down the road we came to a sign that read “Mule Canyon Ruins” so we turned in to investigate and found a very nicely preserved pueblo. The Kiva was interesting in that it had tunnels running from the Kiva structure to the housing block and the tower structure.
You can see the tunnel to the housing block at the left and in the lower photo you can see the tunnel to the tower which is behind me. This is a very uncommon setup for Kiva’s
Also in this picture you can see the air vent and baffle for the fire pit.
Below you can see the relationship between the Kiva and the housing block.
We traveled on and were treated to more beautiful scenery.
Eventually we came to Natural Bridges N.M.
This was our first view of the canyon that comprises the park.
This is Sipapu Bridge.
Patti got a nice picture of this Raven at the overlook.
Our next stop was the Horse Collar Ruins. We walked to the overlook and had to really zoom in to get the pictures.
The next stop was Kachina Bridge.
Then we went on to Owachomo bridge.
In order to get any real good pictures of the Bridges you have to be able to hike down into the canyons but since I can’t hike any more, I took a picture of the placard at the overlook.
We left Natural Bridges and headed for the town of Bluff about 5o miles away for lunch.
On the way we came to a spot where the road drops off the cliff in a series of switch backs just north of Mexican Hat, UT. The views were awesome!
And the road was fun.
We saw this one outcrop and called it the “Monkey Head”
The colors on some of the mountains are spectacular.
Eventually we got to Bluff and had lunch as the “Twin Rocks Café”
Here I have to make a correction on yesterdays description of the rock formation that I called “The Two Navajos” was totally wrong. I don’t know where I came up with that name but it is actually called (un imaginatively) “Twin Rocks”.
At the café which sits right below the rocks I had their “Navajo Burger”. It is a ½ lb. burger rapped in Indian Fry Bread. It was huge and delicious.
I had already eaten almost half of it before Patti took the picture. If we stop for lunch there again we have decided that we will order one “Navajo Burger” and split it.
From Bluff we drove about 38 miles to Hovenweep N.M. almost to the Colorado border.
The trail around the canyon that the Ruins are in is about 3 miles so needless to say we didn’t take the whole walk. We went about 300 yards to an overlook and got pictures of most of it from there.
The first one is Tower Point.
The next one is called the Twin Towers.
This one is Eroded Boulder House.
The Rim Rock House.
And lastly the Round Tower.
These are not all the structures in the area but they were all we could see from the view point and that was as far as I could walk. If you ever get to Hovenweep I suggest that you do the whole tour. That way you can get close to the buildings and see them all. They are very impressive.
All in all it was a wonderful day. We got home at 5:00 and still don’t have room for supper. :o)