The road to Showcase Ruin.
Spider Woman picked up the clay and made forms of man and woman. They placed the magic blanket over them and repeated the magic chant, but the forms did not take life. Spider Woman picked up the forms and hugged them to her breasts. Tawa stared upon the forms with his glowing eyes. They joined together and sang, creating the Song of Life, and the human figures breathed and took life with the spirits given to them.
Tawa was pleased. He declared that nothing new need be made. The living creations would multiply and flourish on the Earth once it was created.
Tawa returned to the Above, where he gathered water and formed Earth between the Above and the Below. He spent each day on a journey across the Above and went home at night to his wife. Each day his blazing sun burned water away until the land was exposed.
Spider Woman separated her creatures between those who would live below the surface of the land and those who would live above. The ones who would live above were led through the caverns of the Below until they reached a Sipapu Hole, which is an opening to the surface of the land exposed by Tawa's Sun.
Spider Woman then used her magic to create the Great Plumed Serpent (lightning) to fertilize the Earth. She created rain clouds so green things would spring up beneath Tawa's Sun to feed her children.
Spider Woman was pleased with all that was. She assured her children that she and Tawa would watch over them and help them to multiply.
Her children looked upon her shining beauty. She raised her hand and began to spin in whirlpool fashion as she became one with Earth and disappeared from sight.
This legend is as it was passed down by the Ancient Ones.
Lone Writer has been tracking the Ancient Ones for two decades. His favorite discoveries are the cliff dwellings, especially the ones that served as home to large groups. Visiting and revisiting those special places provides Lone Writer with many hours of backcountry entertainment.
Lone Writer arrived in Blanding, Utah, on a Tuesday evening. He went into a steak restaurant for dinner and met four other members of the unorganized Internet group that refers to itself as the Lone Riders. In this case, Sundance, Happy Jack, Boss, and Mongo were the drivers. They had been in the area for several days exploring trails near Lake Powell and were on their way to Moab. When Lone Writer told them where he was going, they decided to tag along.
The journey began with a turn off Highway 95, east of Comb Ridge. Tawa was completing his daily journey across the sky and was disappearing behind the Western horizon. Spider Woman's canyons were dissolving into the shadows. The group pulled off the road and followed a faint trail to the bottom of a deep valley and camped beside a small creekbed.
The following morning, the Lone Riders began the 20-mile journey to the intersection that would take them across the Manti-La Sal National Forest to Beef Basin. The first obstacle to overcome was a tree that had fallen across the road. Lone Writer signaled Sundance to back his Blazer up to the tree. A strap was tied to the tree, and the roadway was quickly cleared.
The climb into the Manti-La Sal Mountains provided endless scenic views into gorgeous canyons and valleys. One crossing called Big Notch connects two mountains with a narrow passage that drops 1,000 feet on both sides. The Lone Riders found themselves quickly filling the memory cards of their digital cameras.
Wildlife sightings came in abundance. Wild turkeys, elk, deer, and a variety of hawks and eagles all took the time to check out the visitors. The topping of every hill and the turn of every corner brought another reason to snap more photos.