Fallen Roof Ruin, Road Canyon, Cedar Mesa, Utah. March 2013.
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Sometimes I miss the most obvious photo opportunities. I didn't think to re-photograph Bei at the Fallen Roof Ruin in Road Canyon, a place we visited in 2007 when she was five-years-old and returned to this March during our spring break. Somehow I also returned to Laramie without a single picture of our friend Dave Fay with his bourbon collection, which he spread lovingly across the picnic table in our campsite every evening.
Maybe it's because of Dave's bourbon collection that I never photographed Dave with his bourbon collection.
I did get a photo of Dave and Amy's daughter, Eliza, at Fallen Roof. She's a year older than Bei was in 2007. It feels like a long time ago that Bei was that age and that it has passed in an instant.
Road Canyon, like most on Cedar Mesa, is peppered with ruins, and Fallen Roof is a favorite. Named for the thin layer of sandstone that exfoliated and dropped onto the floor of the alcove sheltering the dwellings, the site is decorated with the hand prints of someone who once lived there, before there was even such a thing as a "road," at least in southern Utah (there's still no road in this canyon, and I don't know why it's named after one).
What must it have been like to raise your children in this beautiful place, waking each day to look out on the canyon before hiking up to the rim to tend the corn. People lived here perhaps a thousand years ago and then disappeared. When you stand in these ruins and look at their hand prints, that can seem like an instant.
Bei at the Fallen Roof Ruin, March 2007.
Eliza Fay at Fallen Roof, March 2013.
Petroglyphs on an enormous boulder facing up towards the sky, Road Canyon.
Dave, Eliza, Sam, Bei, Ellen, and Amy, descending into Road Canyon.
Bei at age 11, scrambling into the canyon.
The Fallen Roof Ruin.
Fallen Roof Ruin, with ancient hand prints.
Dave and Sam hiking out a side canyon off the main trail in Road Canyon.