House on Fire
House on Fire Ruin - Bears Ears National Monument - Utah
The Four Corners region of the United States is well known for its wealth of cultural treasures. Ancient people had made use of this area for thousands of years before the common era. Ancestral Puebloans are the best known of these inhabitants largely due to their impressive architectural skills, which can be seen in areas all around the Four Corners region. Probably the most famous example are the spectacular cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde National Park. A remote canyon area of Southeast Utah, far removed from the more famous National Parks like Arches, Canyonlands and Mesa Verde, is littered with these cultural treasures. If you keep a keen eye while hiking along these canyon bottoms you will see many signs of life from long ago. Cliff dwellings, graneries, pottery and rock art adorn the canyon walls. One of the most intriquing to me, is the ruin often reffered to as "House on Fire" or "Firehouse Ruins." Every morning when there is sunshine, a unique set of circumstances transforms these ruins into an optical illusion that is hard to beieve with your own eyes. An interesting pattern in the sandstone roof above the ruin is responsible for creating the illusion of fire. However, in late morning, when the sunlight is being reflected into the ruins from the surrounding canyon walls, House on Fire takes on a whole new life. The fiery orange rocks come to life, creating an uncanny resemblance to a raging inferno pouring from the roofs of this spectacular ruin.
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