Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hovenweep Revisited

Wednesday, May 11th - - My stop for the night was at Hovenweep National Monument, just inside the Utah border, about 45 miles west of Cortez, Colorado.

Yes, I went through Colorado rather quickly. Blame the weather. Call me a wimp if you will, but these extemes in temperatures are not easy to handle. Anyway, I'll be back someday. (I did spend several days in Colorado last year at Mesa Verde National Park.)

Earlier in the day, I had checked the weather forecast for several places along my route. The forecast for Hovenweep was quite favorable and I knew from my visit last year that they had a nice campground. The temperature going through Cortez wasn't much better than it had been after going over the San Juan Mountains but as I continued westward it warmed up to a most comfortable 66 degrees.

I also spent several days at Hovenweep last year and wrote about the National Monument, The Square Tower Group, and The Holly Group in detail. Since the weather was nice, I walked the two-mile trail around and through the canyon to view the Square Tower Group once again. The sun was playing hide-and-seek with the clouds so I waited for some shots until the sun decided to come out. It wasn't an extremely bright light like it was last year and I'm using a different camera so the pictures have an altogether different feel to them.

The largest structure in the Square Tower Group, which is near the campground, is the Hovenweep House. It includes several outbuildings. Here it is seen from the south side of the canyon.

From the north side of the canyon looking at the Twin Towers, Boulder House, and Rim Rock House. Unless you know it's there, it is hard to tell a canyon exists in just a few steps.

A closer look at the Twin Towers, Boulder House, and Rim Rock House.

An even closer look at the Twin Towers (above) and Boulder House (below).

I still find this place to be fascinating, especially how and why these structures were built.

Mother Nature put on another magnificent show at the end of the day.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - sometimes the best sunset pictures are taken looking toward the east (or any direction other than west)! Rain was blowin-in-the-wind and captured the colors of the sun's fading rays.


Jim McGillis said...

You captured Little Ruin Canyon at Hovenweep perfectly. If you Google-search, "twin+towers+images+at+night+colorful", your excellent photo of the Twin Towers at Hovenweep is the first non-skyscraper image-result of any kind.

My theory is that the place was created as a sort of magical kingdom, where warring factions met and learned to live together. That the variance in "fit and finish" between the towers is sufficient to suggest two separate tower-building groups is well known.

Who were they and why did they build neighboring fortresses less than four inches apart? Standing together at the precipice, they appear ready to hold hands and jump into the unknown.

Less than two hundred years after the ancients completed these crowning achievements in original North American architecture, they disappeared, into the unknown.

During "The Great Disappearance", no one knows what happened to the people of Hovenweep. Did they trek south to the Pueblos or did they simply ascend to their next stop along a collective path?

Merely visiting the place puts us in touch with both lessons and mysteries regarding human ascension. Little Ruin Canyon is perhaps misnamed. The place is not a ruin at all. It is an eternal and sacred site.

Thank you for your inspiration.


Becky Wiseman said...

Thank you for your comments, James. I agree wholeheartedly with your statement "Little Ruin Canyon is perhaps misnamed. The place is not a ruin at all. It is an eternal and sacred site." Hovenweep is one of my favorite places. I found it to be very peaceful and calming. It's a little off the beaten path but more than worth the drive to get there!