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Jim and/or Ginny Owen spiriteagle99 at hotmail.com
Mon Apr 23 00:47:31 CDT 2007


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Subject: Spiriteagle 2007 Southwest Archeological Tour
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2007 01:47:29 -0400
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X-OriginalArrivalTime: 23 Apr 2007 05:47:31.0607 (UTC) FILETIME=[E27ABA70:01C7856A]

We’ve neglected y’all.  Last time we wrote anything was when we were in 
Southern Arizona.  Sorry about that, but time flies when you’re having fun.

So – to catch up – we made a tour of southeastern Arizona, hiking in the 
Chiricahuas and Cochise’ Stronghold (the Dragoons) with some “tourist time” 
in Bisbee and Tombstone.  Both towns were really cool –Old West towns 
reconstructed to attract the tourist trade.  Then we drove north through the 
Blue Mts, across the Mogollon Rim and back south to Phoenix via the Apache 
Trail.  The purpose of the exercise was to do some hiking in places we 
hadn't been before, see some new scenery and still get back to Phoenix for a 
dermatologist appointment.  He burned off a bunch of stuff and told me to 
come back in 6 months.  Fat chance – we’ll be in Canada by then.

Leaving Phoenix, we headed north, starting the 2007 Southwest Archeological 
Tour.  First couple days we spent at places like Walnut Canyon, Sunset 
Crater, Wupatki – and then the Grand Canyon.  Our grandson wanted some 
pictures of the Grand Canyon so, of course the day we got there, it began to 
snow – and snow – and……. But the next day was great – and we got more 
pictures than I could count if I took my shoes off.

Walnut Canyon and Wupatki are Indian ruin and petroglyph sites.  You’ll hear 
a lot more about ruins and petroglyphs later.

After the Grand Canyon, we slid over to Winslow, AZ.  Anyone remember the 
old (OLD) song  “Standing on the Corner”?  Well, Winslow has made a fetish 
out of it – so we got pictures of us “standing on the corner.”

>From Winslow, we stopped at Homolovi, the Rock Art Ranch and Petrified 
Forest National Park – ALL of which have Indian ruins and/or petroglyphs.

Then things got serious – Monument Valley and the Valley of the Gods were 
just super – great scenery and we’ll inflict some of the pictures on y’all 
later.   Canyon de Chelly and Betat’akin were an education in Southwest 
Indian culture – and that education will continue for some time to come.

Our first backpack trip in a month was in Grand Gulch – 4 days, 45 miles, 
with several dozen 800 to  6500 year-old Indian sites - ruins and lots of 
pictographs.  We highly recommend going there – it was a unique experience.  
We followed that with visits (and hikes) to ruins at Butler Wash, Mule 
Canyon and Cave Creek - and lots more photos of ruins, petroglyphs and 
pictographs.  And some really nice scenery – including all three  arches 
(and more petroglyphs) at Natural Arches National Monument.

We also spent some time at the Edge of the Cedars State Park, which is a 
museum devoted to Southwest Indian history.  It helped a lot with trying to 
make everything we’ve been learning over the last couple months make some 
kind of sense.

Right now, we’re in Blanding, UT waiting for the tire shop to open in the 
morning (flat tires are no fun).  Then tomorrow we’ll go back to Arizona – 
we have an appointment on Tuesday to make a 17 mile trek into the Navajo 
backcountry to the Keet Seel ruin site.

After that we plan to explore more ancient Indian sites like Chaco Canyon, 
Mesa Verde (again), and Hovenweep as well as touring and hiking in Arches, 
Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and the Escalante-Grand Staircase NM.  That’s just 
an outline – we’ll fill in the details as we go.  We really have been making 
it up one day at a time.  So much to see – so little time.  It would take 
years to really explore this area in depth, and we’re trying to do it in a 
couple of months.  But it’s a start.  And we're having fun with it.

Walk softly,
Jim & Ginny




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