March 6, 2009

Cowboy Cave – Day 5

We camped at Granary Springs that night, in the desert just off the Hans Flat Road, but this time we weren’t alone. Several tents were occupying the spot where we’d set up our camp before. Later, the group returned from a ride with their horse trailers and 8 horses.
Since water is a scarce resource and we needed some for our horses to drink, we stayed in the same area, just moving downhill and a little closer to the infamous “motel 6” (see Day 1 post).
Our fellow horse campers turned out to be friendly and informative. When one of them came to invite us over to eat and chat, we learned that they’d been to Cowboy Cave! That very day!
They were kind enough to show us their mapping information, so we felt confident that we’d finally be able to find the spot. The group (from Idaho and Orem, Utah, riding foxtrotters) was compatible with us in age and interest. They do rides of similar length and speed and are also into natural hoof care.
The next morning, we visited with our new friends again, then were off on our ride.

With our new guidelines in hand, we headed for a canyon not far from our previous explorations and this time, found our cave.
Two caves, actually, a main one and a smaller mother-in-law dwelling.

Archeologists, passersby, or both, have removed pot shards and other artifacts. We saw only a broken grinding bowl within the larger cave and this sign, warning people not to take or deface anything.
Apparently the warning wasn't entirely effective. There's always someone who can't resist splashing their initials on a rock art panel.

The University of Utah Natural History Museum houses the artifacts, some of them 7000 years old, that were found during the excavation of the cave. We'll plan a visit to the museum on our next trip to Salt Lake City.
However, even standing within the cave gave us a sense of an ancient people and their lifestyle.
We saw surprisingly few petroglyphs.
Steve made an attempt to reach another cave – but wisely gave up when the climb seemed a bit perilous.
Now that we know where to find it, we’ll go back to explore the cave and vicinity more thoroughly another time.
Even with our 2 hour, ten mile ride that morning, we were able to drive home before dark.
Mischief and Boss both enjoyed a good roll as soon as they entered their pasture. After Mischief shook off the dust, he trotted across his turf, kicking up his heels in delight.
It was a great trip, but we were all glad to be home.


  1. Janie you had a wonderful trip on horseback. This would be the ultimate to enjoy all this grand nature on horseback.Looking as far as the eye can see. In company of your beloved animals.

  2. Woohoo! So you found Cowboy Cave. Love this happy ending to your adventure tale!

  3. How exciting!!! Me and my hubby travel a lot (in fact we may be taking off real soon) and the places we like best are the natural beauty spots. No amusement parks for us old people. ;)

    Thanks for dropping by. :)

  4. How neat that you met some folks who were able to help you find Cowboy Cave. What a fabulous trip you had. I am just in awe of you two.

    By the way, get a good GPS the next time you are searching for something. We got ours last year (ours is a hiking GPS) --and it has helped tremendously in finding 'hidden' waterfalls --off trail. There are many places on the internet and in some of our waterfall books which give the GPS coordinates. That helps SO much.

    Glad you had a wonderful trip.

  5. Thank you for the wonderful trip. It is exciting to see other aspects of areas that we have traveled--Arches and Canyonland last November. With the horses you can get farther and faster than we can on foot. Either way, it is an experience worth the trip.

  6. What wonderful pictures and stories! If I could get my Dad to read a blog he would love yours!

    Thanks for the comment at Creating Life. That is how I feel, I am ready to be big enough that there is no doubt I am pregnant!

  7. Ooooh! I love your Utah photos. We always loved travelling through Utah and it makes me want to go again. I'm glad you visited so I that I found your blog.

  8. So cool that you found Cowboy Cave(s), with the friendly help of strangers. Did they go in very deep? It's really a shame that signs are even needed to remind the ignorant.
    This has been such an awesome journey. Thank you so much for taking us along.

    When do we go on the next ride?

  9. AWESOME! I very much enjoyed enlarging the photos, especially the one where Steve was trying to climb into the cave, Very cool Janie.

  10. I'm glad you found the caves in the end. And that your husband wisely realised he wasn't a mountain goat - the climb looks vertiginous to say the least!

  11. Thanks for the virtual ride Janie. I read through, saw the photographs, and enjoyed it a lot.

    My First Blog Award — The Lemonade Award
    Birdhouses, Birdbath, Birdfeeders

  12. What a fabulous place! The Southwest is one part of the country I've yet to explore in depth. (Actually, so is the Northwest, but that's not really relevant here). And every time I see photos like these it reminds me how much I want to remedy that.

  13. Thank you so much for taking us on your five day journey. What great fun....I love to explore, my only concern would be the skin crawled when you mentioned Steve climbing to a cave! Thanks for sharing.

  14. Wonderful how hikers will always assist others. Glad you could find Cowboy Cave and I enjoyed the trip with you! Pity about people who deface things. Thanks for always visiting my blog, Janie.

  15. just fascinating.
    and sad someone today carved their initials!!!
    I wonder if they ever think about that and regret it.
    - The Equestrian Vagabond



Blog Widget by LinkWithin