San Juan River, UT--3

This  is one of the first ruins we saw.  We spotted it from the raft and then beached and climbed up to it. 
We rose at dawn to a sunny day and were on our way in less than two hours.  We floated and scanned the north bank for ruins.  We spotted some granaries and climbed up to look at them.  We climbed further to the top of the mesa and found the outlines of several buildings; the ground littered with pottery shards.  I began to learn the types: black on white, corrugated and black on red.  I also learned that the buildings on top were from the Pueblo II period.  The granaries were later, built when the Anasazi were struggling with drought and took great care to preserve their food.
We had been told to look for a thumb-shaped butte near Recapture Wash; but could not identify it.  After drifting in the gentle current for a while, Norm spotted a ruin high on a cliff on the north side of the river.  We bushwhacked through thorn and tamarisk bushes to the base of the cliff.  Norm and Colin climbed all the way to the ruin and found two large pottery shards (which we left for future explorers).  I stayed back to help them up a steep slab.

A collection of sherds.  Two schools of thought exist about pottery sherds: 1) put any you find on a rock for others to see, 2) leave them where you found them.  Both schools agree on one thing--don't take any home.  "No souveniers, puhleeez!", David of K & D Shuttles, Bluff.
The BLM regulations required us to sign in at Sand Island by 5:00 p.m. on this day.  We began to calculate the time and, perhaps because of this, missed the Dance Hall and Citadel sites.  We passed under the swinging bridge near Bluff and watched a group walk across.  Each member had their own level of nervousnesssome hardly touching the hand cables while others slid hands and feet very cautiously.
We arrived at Sand Island a few minutes after 5:00.  No rangers in sight.  We signed the book and briefly considered camping there.  But we opted for more of a wilderness experience and floated a bit downstream.  We stopped just past the bridge to Mexican Water.  So our "wilderness experience" consisted of cooking again by flashlight and hearing road noise all night.  I also heard several coyotes during the night but my companions slept through the serenade.

Our "wilderness campsite".  Note required chemical toilet and water container.  The river is so salty that using a water filter is pointless.  We took 18 gal. but used less than 10.