Hidden Bonelli: Waterworks of unknown [Cedar] Gulch

A nice thing about Spring (certainly better than a plethora of dog poop) is that it reveals things. You might think all that new growth would actually cover things up but, sometimes, all that green provides a contrast, showing things that you might not otherwise notice. If you were to ride into this little canyon during the summer dry months everything would be a dusty dun color and you, probably, wouldn't notice those low "walls" in the lower left of the photo below. I have no idea what purpose they served - could they have formed little ponds holding water during wetter years? Possibly.

Keep in mind, this is the upper end of Cedar Gulch (so-named by me for that little cluster of them), and it is, essentially, a basin or bowl. My original thought, when I pulled up to this overlook, was that the parallel lines of stone walls (to the immediate right of the rectangular forms) might have been a very low hand-built dam holding water within the bowl. But then, I noticed that those walls diverged, split apart as they moved up slope. When I rode down and walked around it became clear that they, just as easily, might have formed a kind of funnel directing any storm water flowing down a little side canyon from the upper left. I think it is a safe assumption that these walls, formed of both dirt and stone, served as a form of water control for a ranch, or maybe a small agricultural development. Well, that is my guess anyway.

The walls in question are all visible in the lower left of the photo above, some forming rectangular "structures", and the two divergent rows. You may also notice some rows to the middle right; the slopes of the bowl appear to have been a series of terraces.


Looking down the canyon, which curves around to the left in the distance. If you were to follow the streambed it would lead you to the remains of that old bridge you may know of if you have ever ridden the perimeter loop.


Looking up the main canyon. Any rain water would flow off these hillsides and into the basin along the dry steambed.


Those parallel lines which, I though might have been a small dam, but could have also been a ditch to control and direct the flow of water from a smaller side canyon.

There is interesting (well, to me anyway) stuff all around us, if we just leave the cages and look.

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