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The Unknown Kiva under overhang, Bears Ears National Monument

Embers from the Campfire #6: Hidden Kiva

Back in 1980 while exploring up an untracked side canyon five miles or so north of the San Juan River, my buddy Ron Kezar and I saw something odd ahead under a big overhang.

As we got closer, we saw that it was a kiva seemingly untouched for hundreds of years.  We wandered around it, though careful not to get on it or—good grief NO—try to look in the entrance or go down the ladder.

It was truly magical and in part of Cedar Mesa now deleted from Bears Ears National Monument. Secretary of Interior Deb Halland has been quite exercised by the foul act of disrespect to her people’s former home, so perhaps this precious piece of their history has a chance again to be protected.

For the magic of wild slickrock,
Dave

Image: The Unknown Kiva under overhang, Bears Ears National Monument (c) Dave Foreman

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Lee Badger - June 11, 2021

A fine memory for Dave and his closest friends. For me though, when I find such a place I keep it close, and certainly not tell roughly where it is. I hope his location was made-up. Attracting human footprints and ATVs anywhere near Cedar Mesa is ill-advised.

That said, I do appreciate all Mr. Foreman has done for nature.

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