Friday, 5/7/21: Hoodoo, Hoodoo you think you’re foolin’

The rock formation keeping an eye on us while we sleep.

When I was a little boy

And the devil would call my name

I say, now who do

Who do you think you’re foolin’

—Loves Me Like A Rock, Paul Simon

Hoodoos are particularly cute rock formations. They can be part of a cliff bluff or stand alone towers. Either way, they consist of a stack of boulder, mud and clay, boulder, mud and clay, boulder, etc. This Dagwood sandwich forms all sorts of imaginable characters.

I had read about the hoodoos at the Recapture Pocket back home when I had all my maps laid out on the dinning room table. This is an obscure, difficult to find, well out of the way of tourists, place to wander and climb hoodoos to your hearts content. It did prove to be difficult to find. Following a network of piss-poor gravel roads, none of them with any signage, we finally drove over a ridge to look into a mile wide basin ringed with ledges of hoodoos.

On my Benchmark atlas and on Google Maps, these cow paths were numbered - 216, 217, 249 and the like. Both sources roughly corresponded, although not perfectly. As I stated, we did find the illusive buggers.

From a distance and at a glance, they didn’t look like much. But hiking around them and climbing over them, they turned into a delightful group of friends. The dark maroon colors and the sandwiched nature of the formations made each hoodoo distinctly unique and different from each other.

We owned the place. No one else was around for miles. I should have gotten the drone out, but we had gotten a bit of a late start and we were ultimately heading for Hovenweep National Monument, a good ways away. Still, we spent well over an hour admiring our new friends and enjoying our solitude.

Hoodoos at the obscure Recapture Pocket.

Hovenweep is another remnant of the Ancestral Pueblo People. They had built yet another settlement along both sides of a canyon. I have to say, building on and in canyons is a great idea if you love stunning views, and we do.

The 2-mile hike around the settlements is mostly along the top rim of the canyon but it does require some up and down. There are lots of ruins of houses, towers, and other unknown buildings. The jewel of the settlement wasn’t a kiva, it was a castle built on the very edge of the canyon cliff. In Europe we were used to cathedrals and castles that were 1000 years old. Well, here in America, we have a 1000 year old castle too. It was built by the long lost Pueblo People and it had a view to rival Ludwig’s Castle.

A nearly 1000 year old castle built by the Ancestral Pueblo People located at the Hovenweep National Monument.

A cute little Pueblo house built into this rock on the side of the canyon wall.

There are ruins of several buildings throughout the canyon.

Most of the 2-mile hike was along the rim of the canyon, however one section involved a good deal of climbing.

This canyon was fairly narrow and shallow as far as canyons go. The vegetation and natural landscaping in the area was gorgeous.

This yellow bush is the ephedra plant. It grows everywhere.

We found a Dollar Store in the tiny village of Montezuma Creek. We bought a couple of cases of bottled water. We were getting low and the 1% humidity had spooked us. The Dollar Store was just about the only store within 80 miles of our campsite.

We also stopped at Sand Island Campground and borrowed some water for our water jugs. OK, borrowed might be the wrong word. All of our jugs were empty and they needed a refill. Now we are full to the brim with water.

Sand Island Campground was a major launching area for week-long rafting trips down the San Juan River. You need a permit to take an overnight trip on the river. To get a permit, you have to enter a lottery. I talked to one lady that waited four years before getting picked for a permit.

Glossary of terms used for newcomers: 1) V-Jer. The name of our camper. 2) Saturn. The name of our Van. 3) Duende. Our mischievous gremlin that breaks things. 4) Tata. The good gremlin that helps us fix Duende’s dirty work. 5) The Black Hole. This is what we call Walmart because every time we go in for just a couple of items, we come out spending way more than we figured. 6) QT. Quaint Town.

Dave and Wanda

Mask Up To Save Lives.

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