Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bushwacking around in the Tonto in Search of Ruins...

Bushwhacking in the Arizona Desert... is like... A pretty girl waitressing in a greasy spoon truck stop. Ya gotta stay on your toes and watch out for all the things that reach out and grab ya! ;)

But... that's the only way you can get where we planned to go. They ain't carved out any trails.

You can see it from camp... It's the knob just above the end of the ramada and below the snowy peak on the right...

Lazy like I am we drove the truck about a mile up the road to a pull out spot along the pavement... rather than walk that mile to where we could start up into the hills...  :)

But... at some point, you have to put your boots on the ground and start hoofin' it.

Now... I was thinkin' we should climb the southern ridge... the guy who told us 'bout where we were headed said he climbed the northern approach...

... Heidi thought; "Let's go up the center ridge, it's steeper, but shorter..."

Well kids let me, let you in on a lil' secret. Sometimes the shortest way... is not the shortest way!

Steeper can make up for any amount of shorter! :)

Leaving the truck at the pavement the first lil' bit was up a track the fish and game had worn in when they installed a "guzzler" for game...

It's a water collection system with a trough setup... to make sure the game don't run out of water in this dry desert...

Only this one does make a guy like me wonder... just a lil bit...

*water collection of guzzler*
I mean... standing here looking at this system... and thinking it might not have cost a million bucks... but it cost something...

*The guzzlers trough*

Now... standing here... looking at the work they did to put this thing in... so the game wouldn't run out of water... the thought hit me... There is a lake, with about 7 jillion gallons of water in it, right behind me...

...and they put the thing, HERE? When there's all sorts of places in Arizona that have lil' or no water where the thing would make water available where there was none... and they put it here... a short walk from a huge lake... curious.

I'll bet they'll think putting camels out on this desert is the next great  "natural" thing to do... I know, I know... just bein' grumpy in my old age :)

Well we started climbing that ridge you see just above that cholla in the pic above... right up the center... weaving through the cactus and bushes. Everything in Arizona does one of three things. If it don't bite you or sting you... it Sticks you!

It was a nice mid winter day though. A chilly seventy degrees or so. :) ha ha... got informed by a friend up in Colorado... she spent the night alone.... her guy was stuck in town. The drifts wouldn't let him get home, and they'd plowed the road three times in the day. It blew shut again as soon as the snow plow went through.

Oh what fun... I miss chasin' cows at 10 below so, so much! .... uh .... NOT!

*Remains of walls stacked up on top of the Knob*

We took our time and climbed up on top where the ruins are supposed to be... and found the whole top is circled by a perimeter wall and the rocks show that several rooms had been built inside the wall.

*It's a good walk back to camp on the point sticking out into the lake*

A pretty defensible spot, with a nice view. Of course, they didn't have the lake to look at! and I wouldn't want to be the poor bugger assigned the job of keeping the water pots full! Whooooo E! THAT would be a job. Was enough work haulin' my butt up there. How'd you like to spend three four hours a day, haulin' jugs of water up that mountain? ... On your Head! ;)

*Pottery Shards*

*Ancient Pottery Shards on the Tonto*

At first look the piled rocks didn't seem right. I think a lot of "Visitors" over the years have piled up a few of 'em trying to keep the thing around...

A lot of 'em just aren't stacked "right" for someone building their "Home". So you start wondering if the thing is even real...

Then, we found a big boulder in the middle of the place with a few chunks of "Something" layin' on it...

Cool... Ancient Pottery Shards... and other folks had left 'em... THAT is unusual. I'd expect 'em to have been swiped long ago.

By the time we made it back to camp we had most of the cactus thorns pulled out... and the bleeding stopped... made me glad I wasn't a half naked Solado Indian... humpin' up and down THAT hill every day... with some dang Navajo or Apache flingin' arrows at my cute behind!

Yep... I'll keep my world of pretty pictures and shiny motorcycles. Suits me just fine!

We're gonna make a circle of the whole dang lake today... 'cause tomorrow we hitch up and roll back into Tempe for a Dog Agility trial, and then on to PIR for some NASCAR racing and another lil' pay day to help keep this show on the road.

Winter on the Tonto... fits me better than Winter in the Rockies!


Billy Bob said...

Was a nice day for a little walk/hike to stand where a Solado Indian once squatted round the campfire with some dang Navajo or Apache flingin' arrows at his cute behind!
Thanks for a cyber trek to old Indian ruins. Photos were excellent.

Don said...

Looks like a great place. I'm going to have to come down to AZ & check it out sometime. Have fun at PIR. Don't run over anyone.