Hovenweep National Monument and a little wine.

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On another sun filled blue sky day our friends Bob & Karen and Skip & Gayle and us decided to head out to Hovenweep National Monument to check things out.





































The first historic reports of the abandoned structures at Hovenweep were made by W.D. Huntington, the leader of a Mormon expedition into southeast Utah in 1854. The name “Hovenweep” is a Paiute/Ute word meaning “Deserted Valley” which was adopted by pioneer photographer William Henry Jackson in 1874. In 1917-18, J.W. Fewkes of the Smithsonian Institution surveyed the area and recommended the structures be protected. On March 2, 1923, President Warren G. Harding proclaimed Hovenweep a unit of the National Park System.

Human habitation at Hovenweep dates to over 10,000 years ago when nomadic Paleoindians visited the Cajon Mesa to gather food and hunt game. These people used the area for centuries, following the seasonal weather patterns. By about A.D. 900, people started to settle at Hovenweep year-round, planting and harvesting crops in the rich soil of the mesa top. By the late 1200s, the Hovenweep area was home to over 2,500 people.

The towers of Hovenweep were built by ancestral Puebloans, a sedentary farming culture that occupied the Four Corners area from about A.D. 500 to A.D. 1300. Similarities in architecture, masonry and pottery styles indicate that the inhabitants of Hovenweep were closely associated with groups living at Mesa Verde and other nearby sites.

Most of the structures at Hovenweep were built between A.D. 1200 and 1300. There is quite a variety of shapes and sizes, including square and circular towers, D-shaped dwellings and many kivas. Some structures built on irregular boulders remain standing after more than 700 years.

By the end of the 13th century it appears a prolonged drought possibly combined with resource depletion and warfare forced the people of Hovenweep to leave the area and migrated south to the Rio Grande Valley in New Mexico and the Little Colorado River Basin in Arizona.

 There were a couple different trails to walk and we did a combined variation but towards the end it was getting pretty warm and we were on rocks and there was very little shade AND we had a  dog along so we decided that it was time to head to greener pastures and find a watering hole.

 So, we all jumped in our rigs and headed towards the Sutcliff Vineyards.

Sutcliff Vineyards is an isolated vineyard located in the red rock canyons of Colorado, one that while you are diving to you wonder how and they heck they grow anything out there AND why the heck they built so far out in nothingness.

 Once there we settled in at a table and took in he views from patio and could see why someone might enjoy this area, except it was still I the middle of nothing LOL!!!

 Diane and I not being real wine snobs, I mean in the know vineyard goers (LOL, sorry) we just went with the flow and because there were no real pamphlets or any information available at the table we just followed the direction of the lady that seemed in charge of the patio area and ordered wine samples and a cracker and cheese plate to share.

 Of course the company was fantastic and the scenery and setting was very picturesque but when the wine samples were poured Diane and I would give each other a glance as if to be thinking the same thing and the thought was something like “a cat could lap that pour up in 4 tongue strokes!!!” LOL!!!

 We had a very nice time sitting, relaxing and chatting with friends and listening to some of the history that surrounded the making of the vineyard by the “lady in charge of the patio” who’s name we have completely forgotten I’m afraid but all good things must come to an end.

 So after being offered a membership that would have wine shipped directly to our homes on a monthly basis and also an order form in case we wanted to stock up while we were there we made our way to the register to pay.

 I think the only ones in our group that bought any wine were Skip & Gayle but at least someone did.

 Now I think I have mentioned before that I’m sort of a cheap bastard when it comes to this sort of entertainment so I will admit that even though we don’t remember the actual amount we paid for our 5 half full thimble sized samples of wine and crackers & cheese I do remember wiping away a small tear that rolled down my cheek as I saw the amount. I sure home no one saw my in that state LOL!!!

 Once finished a the vineyard we jumped in our rigs, made our way home and ended the night sitting around the fire with friends. Another great day!!

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2 Responses to Hovenweep National Monument and a little wine.

  1. Bruce Long says:

    Your campground spreadsheet is awesome. Is this something I could get a copy of?

    • Dave & Diane says:

      You want a blank form so you can fill it out yourself with your campgrounds or a file with the campgrounds we have stayed at? I’m not very techy but I’m sure the file cold be transferred.

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