Investigating Hovenweep

Hovenweep National Monument Visitor Center (such glorious light!)

Hovenweep National Monument Visitor Center

Hovenweep National Monument in southwestern Colorado is way out of the way. Which is all the more reason I wanted to make my way there.

“Hovenweep” means “deserted valley”. Stone ruins remain perched on canyon rims in a high desert country that even 800 years ago must have seemed to be in the middle of nowhere. But underneath those stone canyon rims was water. Springs, seeps, and seasonal watercourses that could be used to live, to grown corn and other crops.

Hovenweep pueblo ruins and environs.

Hovenweep pueblo ruins and environs.

They used manual labor and stone age tools to build amazing structures. They knew what they were doing.

Then, for whatever reasons (they left no written language for us to read the stories), they moved on. About 800 years ago. They built as if they intended to stay for a much longer period of time. Then decided to migrate sooner than that. Who’s to say they won’t be back?

Hovenweep, winter sky.

Hovenweep, winter sky.

There are Indian tribes in the area who trace their roots here. And to other places in this region. They consider this a sacred place because of that. I consider it sacred, too, because they do, and because of such amazing scenery. Nature. The setting of place.

And on a beautiful snowy storm clearing sunlight dark clouds day in early March, I was there, too. Wondering. Admiring.

A canyon of The Ancients, Hovenweep.

A canyon of The Ancients, Hovenweep.

Location: Hovenweep National Monument, Colorado.

© 2015 Stephen J. Krieg

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