Monday, October 19, 2009

Moki Ruins

Date Placed: October 17, 2009
Letterbox: Traditional
Carver: GreenJello
Planter: GreenJello
Location: Aldrich, Wayne, Utah
Status: Active

When white settlers began moving into the area now known as Capitol Reef National Park, they took notice of old Fremont Native American ruins high in the cliffs above the valley floor. These were small, rocked-in structures in coves up the cliffside, sealed airtight with mud.

Expanding on what little they knew of the cliff-dwelling Anasazi to the south, settlers mistakenly assumed that these must also be cliff homes. But, to fit inside of these "homes", the Natives must have only been 2-3 feet tall! They nicknamed this imagined race of pint-sized Native Americans as "Moki" Indians.

Today, we know these structures to be food storage granaries of the Fremont people.There is an easily accessible and visible granary close to the east entrance of Capitol Reef National Park.

Directions: Driving along Highway 24, there is a pull-off exactly at milepost 90 on the south side of the road. After parking, head back out towards the main road. Up on the rock face to your left will be the granary.

In the area over to the left of where the granary is, there is a pile of boulders. Find the very large flat/layered grey rock to the right of the boulders. Under that rock, near the black boulder, hides the letterbox.

Please poke around with a stick first to dislodge any unwanted creatures from the area and rehide well. Enjoy your visit to Capitol Reef National Park!

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