http-equiv='refresh'/> Tin TeePee/Log Cabin: April 2015

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Natural Bridges and House of Fire

On Wednesday we decided to take a break from ATVing (really Emmi needed a break Smile) and do a driving/hiking tour.  First stop was the town of Blanding for breakfast and other supplies then onward! Natural Bridges National Monument is located just northwest of our boondocking location.  It was a really bright, sunny day with no clouds making photo taking a challenge at best but here’s what I got--

DSCN0843DSCN0868DSCN0871Horsecollar Ruins are also located inside the national monument.  There are trails for walking underneath the bridges and to the ruins but it’s a nice leisurely stroll downhill to the bottom and one grueling hike back to the top—not happening with our two cowboys!



DSCN0866 By the time we finished seeing Natural Bridges, it was almost 4pm.  We drove to the trailhead for House of Fire, paid our $2/person and walked the one mile mostly level path.

After seeing the ruins we’ve been able to access via ATV and hiking, House of Fire was a disappointment.  We weren’t there at exactly the right time for the sun to “light” up the house but we all felt the other ruins we saw were much more spectacular.


So, today (Thursday) Geri and I are once again in Blanding doing laundry—gotta have clean clothes so we can ATV some more!  Life is good!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

We Scored Once Again—Big Time!

Tuesday, April 28

After a night of sound sleep in our boondocking spot we were all eager to get started again—let’s go find some more ruins.  We have a map found on Nina’s blog labeled, Trail of the Ancients—if I had better access to internet I would post a copy here.  The map has many, many “red dots” and each red dot signifies a ruin or petroglyph.  The not so famous ruins are hard to find and this group is very glad we are riding ATVs—it would take some major hiking to access the one we found today!


The weather was perfect and the scenery even more perfect.  We rode 25 miles and three miles of the trail was rugged, actually beyond rugged!!!  IMG_1681IMG_1684Just a small obstacle in the way!



IMG_0057-001Geri was taking photos, happened to glance over her shoulder, saw Emmi and quickly snapped this photo of little miss daredevil!!!

We spotted this particular ruin from across the canyon and after several wrong turns and dead ends we came to a spot where we thought it might be possible to hike down into the canyon.  We got lucky—AGAIN!!  Four people crested the hill as we were trying to determine the best route—they told us it was indeed possible to access this spectacular ruin and pointed out the cairns on the trail. 

This ruin brought tears to my eyes—the structure, the good condition, the colors, the setting, everything about this one is perfect—to think how old it is is mind boggling!!  The tower is two story and floor timbers are still present. 

IMG_1791IMG_1760Looking up through one of the windows, the dark areas at the bottom of the photo are where the floor was once attached.


IMG_1770For size comparison!  IMG_1753

I apologize that this blog was so photo intensive but I wanted to take you along to see this special spot! 

Steep Hills, More Ruins and Boondocking

Monday, April 27

Highway 95 out of Blanding, Utah has two sections of an eight percent grade—the cowboy was a touch concerned about those so I drove the jeep today as we left Sand Island BLM Campground and headed to Combs Wash for some fabulous boondocking.  Nina has a great write up in her RV campsite review section about Combs Wash.  The only glitch with Combs Wash—absolutely no cell/internet signal.  We can drive up to either ridge above us and get decent signal—so blogs will be sporadic!

IMG_1678At Sand Island we scored the only campsite where we would fit.  When we scouted out Combs Wash on Saturday it was very crowded in the sites closest to the highway—today we rolled in and found one of the largest sites empty—perfect for our two rigs!

After making our site homey we unloaded ATVs and took off south of Highway 95.  We scored!!!  The first ATV track we took lead us back into a deep canyon where we found at least six ruins—one of which we hiked up to.  WOW!!  These were small ruins but perfectly situated.  The black marks in the photos appear to be water marks—and we found two different water spring sites on the ledge where the ruins were located.





IMG_1668IMG_1673Back at our site we enjoyed happy hour and dinner—Geri and Larry took an after dinner hike and let the Emmi girl accompany them.  Life is good!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

San Juan Hill and River House Ruins

I wish we had a dollar for every time one of us said, “wow, or what a great day, or how in the world did those pioneers do this!”  We did have a spectacular day—we loaded all four ATVs into our trailer which Larry then pulled with his Dodge.  We traveled less than five miles from our campsite at Sand Island to the trailhead.  From then on it was a constant chorus of “WOW!” 

IMG_1493The next photo does not do justice to the steepness of the route the Mormon pioneers took—Combs Ridge was the last major obstacle—seven teams (probably 14 horses) were used to pull each wagon up this steep incredibly rocky slope!! 


We hiked up a portion of this route and it was so steep you could feel the pull of gravity—I can’t imagine how teams of horses managed to pull loaded wagons up that slope! 

Next up was River House Ruins—having visited ruins in Mesa Verde National Park and others such as Montezumas Castle National Monument it was amazing to be able to walk around in these ancient dwellings.  There is a BLM sign asking you to respect these ruins and it appears most visitors have done so.  As we were walking along the rock ledge which might have served as the native’s “patio” it began to rain.  We took shelter inside the ruins and experienced how perfectly situated this home was—so quiet you could almost hear the former residents talking!

IMG_1505IMG_1510-001IMG_1515IMG_1542IMG_1545There were many petroglyphs inside the dwelling and along the rock wall of the ledge. 

IMG_1517IMG_1547IMG_1537Once the rain stopped we left this special place and headed off to see some more rock art—Kachina Panel and the Butler Wash panel.  Hundreds of petroglyphs on the walls of these canyons.


IMG_0036IMG_0098A very special day spent with special friends in spectacular country!  The guys cooked tonight treating us to a great dinner at Cottonwood Steakhouse.  Life is very good!