One of the many joys I find finding in this area around my home is that I get to combine my love of history and cultural geography with my love of the outdoors.
A canyon mere miles from a town holds delights full of scenery and where other people traveled generations ago.
What might look like a pile of rubble in a canyon contained unexcavated homes of this area’s original inhabitants.
Though the dwellings along cliffs look impressive to our 21st-century eyes, these unexcavated dwellings are where many of the inhabitants lived.
As we continue down the canyon, we notice more signs of where people lived their lives.
In particular, the granaries abounded high above and out of reach without a ladder.
Further on, we found a cliff-side dwelling only a few miles away from town by a raven. But a fair amount of miles away by climbing into the canyon and scrambling up the hillside.
And along the walls, we spotted some remarkably well-preserved plaster pictographs. Pictographs the same color as the mineral deposits found in the cliff wall near the dwelling.
As always, someone like myself can only speculate on the meanings of the images at best. But I do know that 800+ years later, these images still have an intricacy I can only marvel at and appreciate.
And for the keen observer, these images and dwellings are only a part of the story of where people lived.
You can see where people prepared their food hundreds of years ago in the very spot where we stood.
It is the time of year where Joan and I transition to the desert. We immerse ourselves in guidebooks and papers, look over maps, and eagerly look forward to where our next steps will take us.