Monday, September 6, 2010

Bluff, Utah

I took a trip earlier this summer down to Bluff, which is in the southeast portion of Utah right on the San Juan River.  We went down to meet some friends who were coming up from Phoenix, Arizona, and were bringing my grandkids to my son so they could visit for a few weeks.

We made a three day trip out of it and it was a good trip but we didn't get to see all that was in the area and all that I had hoped to see.

In thinking about the area I was reminded that this area was settled by a group of individuals who were called from the areas around Cedar City and Parowan, by early church leaders, in 1879.  They made a trek across some of the wildest and unforgiving country in the West and it is an unbelievable story in and of itself.  A 6 week journey ended up being a 6 month ordeal but they made it and settled the beginnings of Bluff, Blanding and Monticello and the surrounding area.

When we arrived in Bluff we met up with the friends but in looking for a camp space we decided to go back towards Blanding.  The area in Bluff was hot, well over 100 degrees, and the mosquitos were in swarms.  So we drove north to the White Mesa area closer to Blanding and found a nice spot to camp.

It was somewhat cooler and we were in the trees.  Yellow Jack Pines no less!

There was also lots of interesting country around the campground to explore.  I found some caves in the cliffs that had the start of walls built in them.  This whole area is covered with Indian ruins and writings and these looked to be temporary shelters that had been started.

There were a large number of cliffs in the area and quite a few caves in the cliffs but I didn't have enough time to really get into the exploring.  Course we really had come to pick up the grandkids.

We were in the area for a couple of days and did do quite a bit of exploring, I found an old ski lift and we also went up to Lake Monticello.  (I would probably call it a pond) I didn't say that!  There were plenty of Crawdads but nobody wanted to cook them.

There are a number of sites that are on the planning  for this fall and so I wasn't too worried about not getting to them on this trip.  I have plans to go back in the next couple of months when it cools down a little.

The area is full of sites, such as Hovenweep, Newspaper Rock, Arches, Four Corners, Nine Mile Canyon and Fremont Indian State Park are farther north but also on my list.  This area of southeastern Utah where it joins Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico has literally hundreds of sites to explore and like Newspaper Rock and Nine Mile Canyon they are covered in Petroglyphs and Rock Art.

After leaving Monticello and starting the journey north the wind picked up and really began to blow and the temperature was still above 100 and it was not a very pleasant nor comfortable driving.  That lasted all the way into Price so we were glad to get into the canyons north of Price.

Another month or so and it will be time to head back down and start the exploring.
Trip to Bluff and Moab


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