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Utah Travel Headlines

Friday, April 19, 2013

Discover And Explore Cedar Mesa

Road Canyon Ruin by Dave Webb
The Washington Post's travel section has this interesting article giving a first person account of a trip to Cedar Mesa, in southeastern Utah. Writer Kate Siber recounts her trip and notes that the area offers impressive natural beauty plus amazing ancient Native American sites and artifacts in an unspoiled wilderness-like setting where it is still possible to enjoy solitude.

I love the area and explore there often. I've struggled with the dichotomy: should I write about, draw attention to and encourage people to visit an area I love because of its unspoiled, undiscovered qualities?

In the case of Cedar Mesa, I think it is appropriate to tell the world about its wonderful qualities. I'm glad that Kate and others write good, responsible article about the place.

Kate notes that there are still artifacts scattered on the ground in many spots: pottery shards, ancient corn cobs and other relics from pre-history. The reason they are still there is that most visitors are ethical and work to protect and preserve the area.

Cedar Mesa and other similar spots are being discovered. It is impossible to hide a place so beautiful, with such remarkable ancestral Puebloan structures, rock art and artifacts. Our best hope is to help educate people about the place, and encourage them to be responsible visitors.

Below I give Kate's headline and then quotes from the article:

On Utah’s Cedar Mesa, solitude and the thrill of discovery

In a forgotten corner of Utah between the towns of Blanding and Bluff, Cedar Mesa is a riddle of canyons, moss-draped oases and sandstone spires. Despite the area’s desolate beauty, travelers routinely overlook it in favor of better-known national park sites such as Canyonlands, Arches, Mesa Verde and Chaco. They’re missing out.

...Many sites have never been excavated, named or mapped, and few modern eyes have seen them. Although ruins in national parks can be larger and more elaborate, Cedar Mesa offers a rare slice of solitude and the thrill of discovery.

...Cedar Mesa’s wildness is what preserves it. It’s also a large part of its appeal, and the reason it perennially lures me from my Colorado home, a half-day’s drive away.

Read the entire article.

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