Saturday, October 27, 2007

Thursday and Friday we traveled to the southern part of Canyonlands National Park in Utah, the Needles District, where mountains rim the horizon like finely honed spires. Just on the spur of the moment, we ended up camping in Squaw Campground near mushroom rock formations. We saw the moon rise early, and cottontail rabbits hopped right through our campsite. In the morning (after surviving the 36 degree night), we hiked through several fascinating and short trails, stopping to admire an ancient Pueblo peoples' granary made of clay and packed right underneath a mushroom-shaped rock.

At Cave Springs Trail, we hiked over slickrock and through waist high Big Sage, as well as up two ladders, to visit red paint petroglyphs that remain near a permanent spring. Some time between 400 and 1300, the Pueblo peoples would stay here, building fires, planting and harvesting, and then, perhaps depending on the amount of rain, would stay or move on, leaving their rock art behind. We also visited Newspaper Rock nearby Canyonlands and were amazed at the complexity and number of "messages" left there that we can no longer decipher.

Several people have asked me to post travel tips so here goes!

ON-THE-ROAD TRAVEL TIP #1: Create an overnight bag for each person with 1-2 changes of clothing, robe, slippers, and a ditty bag (toiletries and medicines). This enables you to leave the big suitcases in the car and quickly settle in to your hotel room or tent.

Make it a good week! We're headed to Mesa Verde in Colorado tomorrow to visit more Puebloan (Anasazi) artifacts and ruins. Beth

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