Sheiks Canyon & The Green Mask | Day 5

The Maze and the Mesa (April 2011)

 

Day 5: Sheiks Canyon & The Green Mask

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

We were up before sunrise on Wednesday for a quick breakfast so that we could get a quick hike down into Sheiks Canyon before Dave would have to head back home. First up in Sheiks Canyon was the Yellow House Ruin. The roof beams over part of this ruin still have the yucca lashings with knots tied to the roof beams. It’s a pretty amazing site.

Yellow House
Yellow House

Yellow House Alcove
Yellow House Alcove

Yellow House Roof
Yellow House Roof

A good look at the very cool roof structure still intact.

 

Jared and the Yellow House
Jared and the Yellow House

Jared takes a photo into the Yellow House.

 

A little further down the canyon we came across another small ruin.

Welcome Mat
Welcome Mat

This small structure has a unique step right in front of the doorway.

 

Ruin & Faint Pictographs
Ruin & Faint Pictographs

It also has some faint white pictographs located just above, than you can see in this photo.

 

As we continued down-canyon were a couple of steep talus slopes we needed to descend to get around some big pour-overs.

Sheiks Canyon
Sheiks Canyon

A view into Sheiks Canyon as we near Grand Gulch.

 

Dave and the Gulch
Dave and the Gulch

Dave looking down into Grand Gulch from a viewpoint along our hike.

 

Tucked-Away Granary
Tucked-Away Granary

A small granary we passed by on our way to The Green Mask alcove.

 

Once we got near the confluence with Grand Gulch we spotted the Green Mask alcove with it’s ceiling filled with pictographs.

Ceiling Panels
Ceiling Panels

There were a lot of pictographs located near the ceiling of this alcove and out of reach. There are more in the photo below.

 

Ceiling Panels 2
Ceiling Panels 2

Alcove Pictograph
Alcove Pictograph

Here’s a closeup of one of the more interesting and unique pictographs located above us.

 

There were plenty of ruins and rock art around to explore.

Headless Torso Wall
Headless Torso Wall

This area had a bunch of pictographs and handprints, including the Breech Birth Panel.

 

Handprints & Torsos
Handprints & Torsos

A closer look at the left side.

 

Breech Birth Panel
Breech Birth Panel

This section is called the Breech Birth Panel. Apparently, some people believe this scene represents a C-section birth.

 

Shooting Rock Art
Shooting Rock Art

Jared takes a photo of some rock art.

 

Painted Walls
Painted Walls

The back of this ruin appears to have been painted.

 

Mud Spirals
Mud Spirals

A closer look reveals that mud circles were applied to the back wall inside this ruin and then spirals were created. This is the first time I have come across this, and it was pretty cool.

 

Hidden Room
Hidden Room

The entrance to a small room or granary located along the back of the alcove.

 

Upper Panel
Upper Panel

I was unable to climb up to these anthropomorphic pictographs located in a ruin on a ledge above us, so this is the best shot I was able to get.

 

White Turkey Panel
White Turkey Panel

More faint white pictographs. The lower bird-like figure in white reminds me of a turkey, which is where my name comes from.

 

Faint Headress Figures
Faint Headress Figures

Two faint anthropomorphic figures with headdress-like designs where their heads should be.

 

Of course, I had to get a photo of The Green Mask before we left.

The Green Mask
The Green Mask

I wish I had dragged my 100-400mm lens along on this hike so I could have got a better shot of this, but here’s a cropped shot of The Green Mask.

 

We spent plenty of time exploring and taking photos before turning around and heading back up canyon. When we reached camp, Dave made Jared and I some awesome breakfast burritos before he left us to head home. They were very delicious :)

After Dave had left, Jared and I headed to the Kane Gulch Ranger Station so I could pickup my annual Cedar Mesa hiking permit for the season. From there we headed over to the Lime Creek Towers, situated on top of a knoll near the head of Lime Creek Canyon.

Lime Creek Tower Ruins
Lime Creek Tower Ruins

Ruins of one of the towers at the head of Lime Creek Canyon.

 

Photographing the Lime Creek Towers
Photographing the Lime Creek Towers

Jared photographs the ruins of the towers.

 

When we finished exploring those ruins we continued on down the road, unsure of where it would take us. After follwoing it for a few miles we reached a nice overlook of the Valley of the Gods.

Valley of the Gods Overlook
Valley of the Gods Overlook

A nice overlook of Valley of the Gods.

 

While at the overlook I finally got cell phone signal for the first time since Saturday and was able to call Amanda, which was nice. I finished up my phone call and then we headed back to the highway and over to Muley Point for a quick stop.

Muley Point View
Muley Point View

A view from Muley Point in black and white with Monument Valley in the background.

 

Is it ever not windy up there?

Windy
Windy

Jared battles the wind to get a shot.

 

Then it was down the Moki Dugway and into Mexican Hat for some burgers at the Olde Bridge Grille and fuel for the Jeep.

Before heading back to camp we stopped at Mexican Hat Rock to see if there would be a break in the clouds during sunset for some photos, but there never was….so we returned to camp up on Cedar Mesa….and so did the strong winds!

 

Day 6 to be continued…


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