Before I begin loading my blog with writing news and events, I’d like to invite you on a virtual tour of Utah.
This year, my husband and I are determined not to overbook our schedules. Life seems to fill up the rare empty spaces on the calendar despite our efforts.
In February we managed to escape for a long weekend in Utah with our adventurous friends. During a brief window between winter storms, we enjoyed a glorious day of sight-seeing. The best part, besides the unexpectedly mild weather, was that not many people go touring around the Western USA in wintertime. We practically had the parks to ourselves.
Our first stop was the seven hundred year old Butler Wash Ruins. A short hike took us back in time. We tried to imagine life in the hidden cliff communities. Even though their lives were brutally short and challenging, the Anasazi still found time to create beauty out of their surroundings. The pottery remains exhibit an appreciation for art as well as utility. The kiva, the ceremonial heart of the community, is a beautiful underground structure. And then there is the scenery itself.
On the hike back to the parking lot, our friends pointed out cactus ravaged by neat little bites. Who nibbled the cactus? Deer or rabbits? Or perhaps a tortoise!
We did not bring our hiking gear, thinking the winter weather would prohibit outdoor activities. So we kept to the shorter trails leading to viewpoints. Even though the temperatures were in the fifties, there were storm clouds on the horizon.
Our friends headed down a dirt road that led to parts unknown. We found ourselves on the Ute Mountain reservation. A few fences and corrals, and Native American cowboys with pickup trucks, provided the only evidence of human occupation. Otherwise it was all wide open spaces, rocky sage-brush covered hills, and rugged canyons.
Signs warned us to keep off the reservation property, so we stayed on the road, such as it was. When the dubious dirt road wound up the side of a hill, the GPS insisted it went over the top and connected to another road. I may have squealed when our friends seemed ready to tackle the washed-out road. They teased me mercilessly the rest of the trip. But they did turn around.
Our next destination: Mule Canyon Ruin.
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