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    Last Post By: Sombeech Yesterday, 09:46 AM Go to last post

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    Goblin Valley Rappelling...Help!

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    Hello guys!

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    Echo conditions?

    Thread Starter: jman

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  • Utah May 2015

    Utah 2015-- Drive up in the stormy weather, between the Bears Ears and back down. As mentioned in a thread very muddy with recent snow/rain combo. Hard to make any distance without sliding aimlessly. We car camped off the top, near an old homestead with a two seater outhouse still standing. Now to Plan B. It really wasn't plan B, something I wanted to get done after my adventures in the Abajo's.
    Long ago and far away in my research I came across Cave 7. This is a significant site to archaeo buffs; in 1893 Richard Wetherill and others were excavating a small Pueblo III site ( anasazi), when they decided to dig much deeper in this small alcove. They came upon a large burial area about 3 feet down, with the people covered in large beautiful baskets, feathered blankets and beads, no pottery or stone tools. Their skulls had a different shape and they appeared taller than the Anasazi or Ancestral Pueblo people. Wetherill called them the "Basket People" later morphed into the Basket Makers, an earlier group than the Anasazi. Also controversial is that more than a few of the bodies had spear points in them, broken bones, bashed skulls, one had a huge obsidian knife thrust between the pelvic bones. A massacre had occured some 1500-2000 years earlier. ( Insert my sarcasm here--how times stay the same rather than change). Over 90 skeletons were found and removed from the alcove. The location was lost for some years after Wetherill's murder at Chaco canyon; in the early 90's a group was formed to retrace some lost foot steps in this history, and the location was recovered. Cave 7 is mentioned in Frank McNitt's book "Anasazi" about Richard Wetherill and his family; in my favorite " Cowboys and Cave Dwellers" by Fred Blackburn and Ray Williams, and in "Sandstone Spine" by David Roberts.
    I did my research, it is not an easy find on the web, and that is good. I obtained a map with an incorrect location, however we had great luck in adjacent areas, hiking off trail to ruin sites not often visited, some well visited, and some a true bushwack with some high exposure etc. We saw no one in our forays. One alcove had some unique artwork, from several artists and several generations. One area we dubbed the "corn grinders", no ruin or art but so many grinding and scrapings it was amazing. We saw a lot of pottery shards, some tools, and solitude.
    When I stepped into Cave 7 I was not sure. I had studied photos, I knew there was a small distinctive ruin in a nearby alcove and if that was in this small sidearm canyon, this was it. When we walked around the corner and I saw the ruin I gave a shout--" that was it!
    Cave 7 is small and not very impressive; here is the modern discovery site of the Basket Makers. We had lunch here and I crawled around a bit, came up with a rim from a large olla much like an old photograph of some of the activities at the 1893 dig. We found and I tried to photograph a fading "Wetherill 1893" signature; hope it comes out.
    We drove on to another camp. Rain the next morning made magical waterfalls and slickrock hiking, and a high anxiety trip to a alcove with no ruins but other features. More cross country hiking to alcoves. Moving on looked on the map and hiked to an alcove cave with formations,and a mine---I'll post a separate triplog and photoset for those.
    The weather was one day sun, one day storms all around. We drove back up to the Elk Ridge with the roads drying out rapidly but big honking mudholes. More off trail hiking after some long epic driving. I didn't have time now for the backpack I had planned but I was successful with a couple of other things I wanted to do up there.
    Down and drive out, Brian had never seen the Escalante area so we went up the Burr trail and camped off there, then early did a little hike off the opposite site of the Calf Creek areas into Dry Hollow, which had water. Beautiful huge buff and white mounded sandstone. We then drove out the Smokey Mountain road, hiked a short slot off there, drooled over the Left Hand of Collet canyon ( I've done some in there but the Kaparowits Plateau needs easily a week or so in there). The weather was not conducive to driving on clay based roads so we drove down the Kelly Grade, camped then out in a light rain.

    Really a great trip despite all the changes.

    Some pics--- full photo album http://hikearizona.com/photoset.php?ID=35494

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Utah May 2015 started by RedRoxx View original post

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