Sunday, June 12, 2011
The Three Kiva Pueblo is an accessible Ancestral Pueblo ruins site in the Montezuma Canyon in southeast Utah. Much of the floor of Montezuma Canyon is private property but there are several small ruins sites that can be viewed from the road.
The northern area of the Montezuma Canyon has many alcoves. Most are hard to see from the road but there is one where some wall fragments are clear. This site is about 13.4 miles north of the Three Kiva site. Traveling slowly along the 35 miles of Montezuma Canyon and stopping when I though I saw something took about 3 hours. There are more sites than I mention here and probably more that I missed.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Three Kiva Pueblo is a publicized Ancestral Pueblo site along the rugged Montezuma Creek Road between Monticello and Blanding in southeast Utah. The north end of Montezuma Creek Road, C-146, is five miles south of the Visitor Info Center in Monticello, Utah east off of Route 191.
About 6.8 miles south of the Three Kiva Pueblo, there are cliffs close to the road with several petroglyph panels. There isn’t a sign but there is a turnoff parking spot on the west side of the road. The panels extend for several hundred feet.
The figure in the upper left seems unusual. The bottom part resembles a flute player, but the part on top is more elaborate than the usual flute player head dress.
The bird images are particularly clear. They look like herons or some shorebird. There is water in the Montezuma Canyon but I didn’t see any wetlands that would provide habitat for this type of bird.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
The Wagon Wheel Trail visits the east side of the Blue Mountains in the Manti-La Sal National Forest in southeast Utah. The trail head is 5.4 miles along the forest road past the Devils Canyon campground. The campground is between Monticello and Blanding, Utah on the west side of Highway 191.
Besides being numbered as trail 168, the Wagon Wheel Trail appears to have an ATV Route 90 designation. The trail head elevation is about 8200 feet and the trail climbs about 800 feet in 2 miles.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
In 1896, ranchers Mel and Ed Turner were searching for stray cattle somewhere in the canyons of southeast Utah and found a perfectly preserved high quality woven blanket. This blanket, some yarn, and a picture of an alcove ruin later came into the possession of Telluride banker W.E. Wheeler.
Only three other pre-historic perfectly preserved blankets are known. The Telluride Blanket is the only brown, red, and white twill fabric from the time period of 1041 to 1272 AD.
The Telluride Historical Museum is located in the restored 1896 Hall’s Hospital at 201 West Gregory Ave. This location is very close to Tomboy Road and the east trailhead for the Jud Wiebe Trail. I visited the museum after hiking the Jud Wiebe Trail clockwise, starting at the Cornet Falls west side trailhead.
The author describes how the documentation of early explorations is often separated from the artifacts recovered and an effort called Reverse Archaeology is needed to fill in the information gaps. The efforts by Fred Blackburn and the rediscovery of the Wetherill Cave 7 are an example.
There are ongoing investigations of the Telluride Blanket. Where did the cotton and dyes come from? What happened to the pot, beads, and awl that were originally found with the blanket? A question that hikers would ask is where is the site? If you were starting out as a canyon hiker in 1968, or even now, where would you look first?
The small room where the Telluride Blanket is on display doesn’t have any other Ancestral Pueblo artifacts. In the Telluride area the Utes are the people of interest and there are some displays relating to their activity in the mountain area. The San Juan Mountains were the center of their lives and the cycle of life is emphasized.