Cedar Mesa, Utah.
I was waiting for the sunlight to reach the right angle and light up canyon walls that would reflect into the ceiling and bring out the fire of the sandstone vault. Ancient peoples lived here, tucked into the fold of an alcove above a stream, in a canyon like a hundred others,in the high desert in Cedar Mesa. I came looking for it in winter, hiking up through snow along the bottom of a wash that is in too much shadow too many hours of the day to get burned off. Climbing up, and happy to be out of the dry chill of the canyon bottom, I warmed and shed layers in the sun on the slickrock. No exception to other south-facing ruins (to take advantage of the sun's warmth), Flaming House Ruins--or, House on Fire as it's also called--is still intact. Too easily found not to have been excavated by thieves, they at least left the site intact, and we can try to imagine what life must have been like here. I appreciate the strength to get the masonworks up here, the fortitude to live so primitively, and their taste in locations. Because, as the light grows and throws it into relief, I realize this place probably wouldn't even be noticed today, if not for them.