Saturday, December 27, 2014

Late Fall at Nine Mile Canyon - Part Three.

Late fall, early December, and here we were making our way through Nine Mile Canyon once again. When we were there in October, there were many vehicles around full of tourists visiting the sites on the pamphlet map. Today, we were waved at by local ranchers, or oil workers, driving by; nice to know we were remembered (my blog advertising magnets on the doors of the SUV told them who we were).

I made sure to take a few photos of the exact places we stopped the first time, landscape wise, so you can see the differences the weather can make on the area. The panorama was taken at mile mark 10.7; go to Part One to see how the landscape changed in just over one month.

The first 30 miles or so were a scenic winter wonderland; then the scenery changed completely.  It was as if someone had drawn a line through the area and said, "Ok snow, you stay on that side only!"

We had already made plans to drive slowly along the roadway and take photos of all we could see.  There are many abandoned homes dating back to the pioneers; take note of the differences in building materials and styles.

While we can only take one day trips, you might wonder if there is camping available in Nine Mile Canyon, and the answer is yes.  At 24.0 miles, Nine Mile Ranch and Campgrounds would be your haven; it's closed for the winter season, but I did notice that the cabins do have picnic tables and barbecues for anyone renting them out.

Here comes some exciting photos for those who appreciate Rock Art; the road to Harmon Canyon is at 33.6 miles.  We didn't travel to the canyon area, that's for another day; park and look across at the low rock walls across from the canyon road...panels of rock art!  One of the panels definitely has Elk, however, with the snowy scenery; we decided to pretend they were reindeer.  What?   Did you think that Santa and his reindeer didn't visit Nine Mile Canyon; well here's proof that he did and the ancient people of this area noticed!


We discovered another clue to finding, not just rock art, but ruin sites...follow the mud swallows.   At many of the sites we found, not on the pamphlet map, there were mud swallow nests tucked into the wall crevices nearby.  At mile mark 37.8, we first noticed the nests high up on the walls, but down below were inscriptions from 1818.

Across from this site, I was able to make a new friend; in a pasture was a bull.  Going across the road, I softly spoke to him and he began to make his way closer to the fence.  I continually made soothing noises at him, and told him how handsome he was...he began to pose.  At one point, he lowered his head and made a soft lowing sound (not a moo and not a bellow); to me it was as if he was saying, "Ah shucks ma'am".  I bid him goodbye, and he walked away to do, well whatever bulls do; but he was a bit of a sweetheart.

The sun decided to make an appearance; rays of light plus shadows from clouds made the landscape pop!

I like to make believe these are castle towers. 

Mile mark 38.1 brings you to an abandoned stone house with a corral nearby; check out the walls behind the corral to see an "Indian wall" with timbers still holding up a portion of stone roof.

At mile mark 38.6, another road leads northward to Gate Canyon, Summit Vista, Smith's Well, and eventually ends at Route 40 to either Myton or Duchesne.  Nope, didn't go this way yet, but this is where I'm stopping this part of our story.  Part Four you'll see what other goodies we found as we continue up to mile mark 50 on the main road.  I will leave you with a few interesting sites and more wildlife.

Featured in Part One; looks starker in the wintery sky.

Ooooo, Bunny!

Mary Cokenour

No comments:

Post a Comment