Bell Trail Petroglyphs

Went on a hike with a group from work. Me and another staff took the wrong trail and ended up seeing these amazing petroglyphs, ruins and pottery. Glad we got lost LOL. So at the sign about three miles in… go to the right. If you go to the left you will end up at a really awesome swimming hole called “The Crack.”

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Rock Art Ranch ~ Arizona Ancestral History Tour

We recently had the opportunity to stay at the Rock Art Ranch in Joseph City near Winslow Arizona. Brantly Barid and family were amazingly loving and humble hosts. I didn’t want to leave! So many awesome things to see… the museum, the kivas and pit houses, Chevelon canyon with some of the most amazing petroglyphs I have ever seen, old hogans, pottery, arrowheads, mind blowing sunsets and an abundance of wildlife. This is a history lovers paradise! Such a peaceful place to be. Enjoy…
Contact Info: 928.288.3260 Facebook TripAdvisor

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Hopi Ceremonial Kiva at Mesa Verde

kiva at Spuce Tree House in Mesa VerdeThis magical photograph was taken down inside the Kiva here at Mesa Verde National Park. It is a panorama of 8 images. TI wanted to convey a sense of Spiritual awareness with the Ancestral Puebloans ( Anasazi ). The shadows and light coming down from the world above invokes a sense of timelessness. One almost expects to see the Elders gathered here. This photograph was taken in late August of 2012, ( Spruce Tree House ).

kiva is a room used by modern Puebloans for religious rituals, many of them associated with the kachina belief system. Among the modern Hopi and most other Pueblo peoples, kivas are square-walled and underground, and are used for spiritual ceremonies.

Similar subterranean rooms are found among ruins in the American southwest, indicating ritual or cultural use by the ancient peoples of the region including the Ancient Pueblo Peoples, the Mogollon and the Hohokam. Those used by the ancient Pueblos of the Pueblo I Era and following, designated by the Pecos Classification system developed by archaeologists, were usually round, and generally believed to have been used for religious and other communal purposes.

When designating an ancient room as a kiva, archaeologists make assumptions about the room’s original functions and how those functions may be similar to or differ from kivas used in modern practice. The kachina belief system appears to have emerged in the Southwest at approximately AD 1250, while kiva-like structures occurred much earlier. This suggests that the room’s older functions may have been changed or adapted to suit the new religious practice.

As cultural changes occurred, particularly during the Pueblo III period between 1150 and 1300, kivas continued to have a prominent place in the community. However, some kivas were built above ground. Kiva architecture became more elaborate, with tower kivas and great kivas incorporating specialized floor features. For example, kivas found in Mesa Verde were generally keyhole-shaped. In most larger communities, it was normal to find one kiva for each five or six rooms used as residences. Kiva destruction, primarily by burning, has been seen as a strong archaeological indicator of conflict and warfare among people of the Southwest during this period.

Fifteen top rooms encircle the central chamber of the vast Great Kiva at Aztec Ruins National Monument. The room’s “…purpose is unclear…. Each had an exterior doorway to the plaza…. Four massive pillars of alternating masonry and horizontal poles held up the ceiling beams, which in turn supported an estimated ninety-five-ton roof. Each pillar rested on four shaped stone disks, weighing about 355 pounds apiece. These discs are of limestone, which came from mountains at least forty miles away.” (A Trail Guide to Aztec Ruins, 4th printing:WNPA, 2004).

After 1325 or 1350, except in the Hopi and Pueblo region, the ratio changed from 60 to 90 rooms for each kiva. This may indicate a religious or organizational change within the society, perhaps affecting the status and number of clans among the Pueblo people. The use of the kiva was for men and boys only.


Vultee Arch Hike in Sedona Arizona

vultee arch trail sedona (15)This is a fun off road journey to a beautiful one and a half mile hike in to the Vultee Arch. November 17th 2015.

An easy hike along the bottom of Sterling Canyon. The drainage is dry most of the year. Shade is available, but it would be wise to carry some water in the warm months.

The signed trailhead is on the east side of the parking area. The well maintained trail almost immediately enters Wilderness and climbs gradually in the shade of Arizona cypress beside a dry stream bed on the floor of Sterling Canyon. There are occasional views of red rock formations to the left and of the sheer walls of Lost Wilson Mountain on the right. After 0.75 miles, the trail enters stands of ponderosa pine and oak which show the scars from the 1996 “Arch” fire. Nearing the 1.75 mile point, there is a marked fork. Sterling Pass Trail branches off to the right. Keep left and continue 100 yards where the trail ends at a large red rock outcrop. There are nice views of the canyon, mountains and of Vultee Arch, about 0.25 miles the north.

The trail dead ends at a bronze plaque placed in memoriam of Gerard and Sylvia Vultee who lost their lives in an aircraft crash on January 29, 1938. The actual crash site is more than a mile north and at a much higher elevation, on East Picket Mesa. On the north side of the canyon across from the plaque is the sandstone arch named for Vultee, an early aircraft designer from California. Just before the plaque site there is a junction with the Sterling Pass Trail which continues over into Oak Creek Canyon.

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Polatki and Honanki Ruins in Sedona

polatki and honanki nov 2015 (7)My adventure today… November 1 2015

The Palatki Heritage Site — in the Hopi language Palatki means ‘red house’– it is an archaeological site and park located in the Coconino National Forest, near Sedona, in Arizona.

The Honanki Heritage Site (meaning “bear house”) is approximately 4.5 miles north west of Polatki and is also a cliff dwelling and rock art site located in the Coconino National Forest, about 15 miles (24 km) west of Sedona, Arizona. The Sinagua people of the Ancient Pueblo Peoples, and ancestors of the Hopi people, lived here from about 1100 to 1300 CE.

Pictographs are a key feature of the site. Some of the pictographs were present before the caves were inhabited, dating to 2000 BCE. However, most of the pictographs are additions from the Sinagua peoples dating between 900 and 1300 CE.

Honanki was later inhabited by both Yavapai and Apache people. Pictographs dating between 1400 and 1875 CE can be attributed to these two groups.

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Lunar Eclipse at Canyon DeChelly 2015

eclipse canyon dechellyCan anyone else feel the effects of the Eclipse still? Bringing up aspects of shadow self?

Most of the time the shadow self is ignored, neglected, and misunderstood. Imagine what would happen if we could learn to love, acknowledge, and nurture it? It may create more balance, totality, and completion of old chapters, agreements, commitments, relationships, and un-finished projects. Embrace it, cry with it, love it then… we will be ready to journey forward into this new exciting chapter of our lives.

During the eclipse, I was with some friends at Canyon DeChelly. Navajo Reservation. The Navajo said they do not look at the eclipse because it will bring out their shadow side. For some people, It is hard to look at these parts of ourselves… easier to just ignore it. So I watched the whole event and saw that once I looked at the shadow, eventually the light began to come back and it seemed even brighter.

Shamans Cave Robbers Roost Sedona

Shamans Cave, also known as Robbers Roost,  is a very special place in Sedona that when visited, one should show great respect to land and the people that are meditating and doing ceremony there. It is believed to have been a place where the Shaman of the local tribe would have performed healing and ceremony. Also, it is said that when you meditate in the cave long enough, you can hear messages from your ancestors.

The cave is a very large room, approximately 20 feet long, 40 feet wide and 15 feet high, and open on one side. Inside, there’s a near-perfect, six-foot-wide circular window cut out of the thick rock that neatly frames the amazing view. There are two distinct sets of ruins within this rock formation. There are also several metate’s in the floor where the natives would have used to grind special herbs or corn for healing and prayer.

shamans cave robbers roost sedona

shamans cave sedona

shamans cave window