Access is the death-knell to Ancestral Puebloan ruins. The closer they are to roads, the more likely they are to be destroyed by pothunters and vandals (both of whom are the lowest of human beings). To see these wonderful ruins, we had to walk a total of eight miles, and that doesn't count the required climbing to approach the ruins themselves. There was only a trail of use to follow.
The trail began in a shallow canyon with an ephemeral stream. After a mile or so, the canyon deepened, and the first of the ruins appeared (above). It just goes to show how I can miss significant sights sometimes, by realizing that the ruin above is famous, and is found in posters and art exhibits. It's called the House on Fire Ruin (or some variant), and I totally missed the effect of the crossbedded Cedar Mesa Sandstone that flares out above the dwelling. Check out this page (or this one) for an example of a shot taken with a photographer's eye
The next portion of our journey would take us into a different landscape, one that was largely ignored by the Ancestral Pueblo people, a place where it was too dry to grow crops and subsist off the land. We were headed into the Canyonlands.
Meanwhile, in the present day, I will be on the road for a few days, taking our students on a field studies excursion into the eastern Sierra Nevada and Owens Valley. See ya'll in a few days!