A Hike to Cave 7

On November 29, 1893, Richard Wetherill led the Hyde Exploring Expedition from Mancos, Co to Grand Gulch UT. After a stop in Bluff, UT for supplies they headed north on December 11. In a letter written six days later, addressed from “First Valley Cottonwood Creek 30 miles North Bluff City,” Richard Wetherill wrote: Our success has surpassed all expectations….In the cave we are now working we have taken 28 skeletons and two more in sight and curious to tell, and a thing that will surprise the archaeologists of the country is the fact of our finding them at a depth of five and six feet in a cave in which there are cliff dwellings and we find the bodies under the ruins, three feet below any cliff dweller sign. They are a different race from anything I have ever seen. They had feather cloth and baskets, no pottery–six of the bodies had stone spear heads in them. The hike to Cave 7 made by our group stopped at a couple of alcoves with ancient ruins in them. One of them is Cave 8 and probably excavated by the Hyde Exploration Expedition. The group included four Wetherill descendants and the great grandson of Platte D. Lyman who helped build a house and corral in the valley which ultimately became the Milk Ranch and where Cave 7 is located.

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