Wednesday, July 6, 2011

County Road 146

This is how Chuck and I spent July 4th, 2011!

First you have to go north on Highway 191,  16 miles to County Road 262 towards Hovenweep National Monument. When the road start getting real bad, look for Hatch Trading Post on the left.  It is all covered in trumpet vines and not hard to miss. It is all fenced in and vines are everywhere, the first piece of obviously cultured green life in the desert! Reset your odometer to zero and let the journey begin. (I can't believe I didn't take a photo of Hatch Trading Post!) Just past the trading post is the road to Hovenweep, do NOT take that right hand turn, go straight! Sooner or later you will find a sign that tells you that you really are on County Road 146!
Remember to reset your odometer at the trading post to zero. At 9.3 miles you will see an oil terminal, turn right, this is County Road 146.  The county road signs out here are very small and difficult to read!

This rock looks like a mushroom that has lost it's top!

The nearby rock is just a weird rock column with flat black rocks on top!

The road is pretty much 2-lane road! Good thing we never met anyone the whole trip!

 At 9.8 miles, you will find the first Petroglyph panel.
It will be on your left!
Click on each image, you can make the photo full size.

There have been many years of rock art here, some images are drawn over other older images!

We passed an old abandoned cabin. Must have been a small working ranch at one time.

The road meanders through some interesting country

This is also oil country, you will pass several grasshopper oil rigs and collection areas like this!

 At 12.9 miles you will see another panel off to the left.

Like the other panel, this will have some newer art drawn over the old. Click on each image to see it full size.

In these two photos, you will see an example of modern rock art.  A Navajo (Dineh) family with a horse drawn wagon.

It looks as though this had once provided shelter, some rocks were stacked pueblo style.

Most of the sites are easy to find, there will be a short side road leading off main road, beware of soft sand!

Just past the last petroglyph panel, you wil drive through a great cottonwood grove. The temps dropped 10 degrees in here under the trees. Good place to walk the dogs! Great place to boondock if you have a smaller RV or camper... road is tricky in a few places!

The road becomes even more narrow

The road becomes more challenging with high twisty curves, but it is a do-able road, 4 wheel drive would 
be good!

At 16. 7 miles, you will arrive at 3 Kiva Pueblo Ruins!
Very interesting! 

You can climb down the ladder into the Kiva, but we chose not to.  Too hot at 102 degrees to consider doing this!

At 18.6 miles, look up high on your left! You will see the remains of some pueblo cliff dwellings!

Back on the road again,

 The road continues to curve in "S" curves, sometime over high cliffs leaving the passenger, 
(me!) breathless! But remember.... I am a relunctant passenger! I would rather drive!

 We passed an old abandoned cabin that Chuck thought might possibly be a line shack, where the cowboys go in winter to keep an eye on the cattle.

If you look across this field, click on to enlarge, you will find 3 caves cut into the wall of sandstone!

We were surprised to see that a local rancher uses 
them for storage! The first stored farm implements,
this middle one held hay, the third one held tractors and equipment!

The road gave us two more surprises before we were done.... but my camera was done, dead battery! Just around this sandstone formation, we found a beautiful home built into the sandstone. Not like the cliff dwelling of old, all you could see were beautiful windows and a front door and several solar panels! It was amazing and I am sorry (DUH!) that I didn't bring spare batteries! Life goes on. You will just have to plan a trip here and go exploring with your own camera and spare batteries! The dirt road emerges back on Highway 191, 42.8 miles from Hatch Trading Post and about 25 miles from the campground! We had a great 4th of July! Thank you for joining us!  Our next blog will be from Sand Island where we found another great petrogyph panel, and Newspaper Rock a well known petrogyph pane and Canyonlands National Park, the southern end of the park we visited while in Moab.
Tomorrow the adventure begins again, we leave Bluff and head out to Monument Valley! On the road again!

Happy Trails, reporting to you from The MotherShip docked in Bluff Utah!
Geri, Chuck and the hound herd, Scottie, Doogie Bowser and Radar!


  1. Absolutely stunning ! We love those ancient places.

  2. Thanks for this, Geri! I would like to give it a look!


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