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Palatki Heritage Site

http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/coconino/recreation/ohv/recarea/?recid=55368&actid=119

A little tiny dot on the map on the west side of Sedona has a great little stop. The site has petroglyph along a rock face, a small shelter built on to the cliff face and a cliff dwelling.   If you have purchased a Red Rock Pass, it works here too.  (Seriously, $15 a week good for about everything that charges to get in. A tourist can’t beat this).  They close at 3:00pm.  The gateman will let you out after 3:00.

The road in is graciously called “Primitive”.  Gravel roads have..Gravel.  This has mud, gravel and rock.  A car will make the trip.   But even in a SUV,is not smooth.   One more thing..

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Yes, the sign is correct.  And they don’t look both ways before they cross..

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But we are here for petroglyph and other things.  Of course, I missed the last tour to the cliff dwelling.   The petroglyph come with a guide.  You check in at a house at the bottom of the hill.   They animus announce your presence.   And you walk about a 1/4 mile.

Don’t touch the artifacts they are heavily guarded!

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The story boards include long time favorites like Kokopelli, zigzag lines, and a creation myth.

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Tuzigoot Ruin

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A 100 room ruin just outside of Cottonwood, AZ.  North of Phoenix by two hours or west of Sedona by half hour.  The Sinagua stayed here between 1000 and 1450.  They built this high on a hill in a bowl of mountains.  The Verde River cuts along side to provide year round water.  The visitor center was loaded with artifacts from on site.  The ruin was explored in the 1930’s.

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Continue reading “Tuzigoot Ruin”

Antelope Canyon

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There is a crack in the ground. It’s a quarter mile long. Only a hundred feet deep or so. What could possibly make it a destination. Well twenty five years ago, it was a tribal thing. Then someone took a picture. The world changed with one picture. It sold for five million dollars!

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Light plays interesting tricks here. It streams through the cracks in the rocks. And it turns orange! The sedimentary rocks glow. There are places in bends. There are places it keeps dark. There are places our vision distorts. Some place it looks back at you.

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Water rushed through here in flash floods. It carves trusts and turns. Six feet of sand can come in overnight. Logs that started as seventy foot trees hand over your head here. Torrents of water made all of this. Sunlight bends to find a spiritual glory here.

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Animal forms here includes a dolphin. It juts out from a wall.

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A bear climbs to ceiling. It looks feels the sky above it.

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This is a place where it’s large enough to pass three at a time. It’s really narrow. Several tour groups use this canyon. You won’t be alone, but there are a couple minutes it seems that way. The tours are crazy. The guide leading us had sixty people. We divided into twelve person units. The guides take pictures in some places for you. You can’t go by yourself. I paid fifty a piece, for hour and half. Some tours run two and half hours and will set you back $125 each.

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The scene is straight out of your memories. Sunrise at Monument Valley. Twist you’re head and it’s there. The use of blacking objects makes the place special. The feeling is strangely spiritual.

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Orange is rare underground. So is the lone figure. He was taking a picture of a group. It’s not good picture blown up, but on the little screen.

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Antelope Canyon is located minutes from Page, AZ. The tours meet in Page. You maybe treated to an Indian Hoop Dance. The trucks are open air. The roads are sand and rough. But the views are worth everything.

Monument Valley

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Western Mitten

Isolated in a distant corner of Utah and Arizona lies a place straight out of the
movies.  It can’t be real. Can it? Tables of rocks, spires of stone rise from a barren landscape.  Colors of red and orange mix with tan and grey, light dances through a spectrum of color during the day. 

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Not Even in the Park Yet. This is Mesa.

Blues of deep hang in the sky.  Pale white clouds wisp above.   Greens hang on to life.   Scrub plants mix with hardy evergreens.  Flowers briefly pop up.   The crayon box spoils out across the landscape.  Red rocks in brick red, rusty red, crimson red.

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This is a Spire.

The Navajo Tribal Park is almost five hours from Phoenix. Its $20 entrance fee covers up to four people. The area is remote. The Views Inn offers rooms and cabins starting at $200 per night, expect to pay more during spring through early fall. Nearest city is Kayenta, AZ with accommodations in the $125-$160 range year around.

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Dont bring a Mustang here!

The drive is fifteen miles of soft sand and rough road. A car will make it. You’ll be here five hours plus. Get the all wheel drive SUV if possible. Although, the above is not AWD it made for a much better day. Make sure you fill up at Kayenta, or Bluff, UT to the North. Its a lot of work getting around very slowly.

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There are private land holdings here!

There are plenty of tours available if you want to ride in open air trucks. They start at $75 per person, and will take you places the general public can’t see on the loop road. This is private and park land. Respect the fences and private drives. Some of these horse trails with horseback opportunities that are offered inside. Prices are not displayed within the Valley.

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Camel Rock

Look up. It’s not hard to do. But when you get inside the views of the same rocks change with the angle of view. If you get a deep blue sky, you’ll kill more than one camera. I killed two with clouds! Plan for this. Plan for water. They sell it at visitors center. A liter is a start. Two people per liter gets you by. Take a sports drink, iced tea, avoid pop (soda) images you have more water. You are in the desert.

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The Three Sisters

The place has spiritual significance to the Navajo. Stop and learn at visitors center. They have a historical museum, gift shop, restaurant, and hotel. Normal souvenirs mix with some “handmade” objects.

The restaurant served dinner at 5. If you don’t stay there, They will only serve you until 7. Hotel patrons are served until 9.

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Some objects are road side
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A wet year gets you green. This isn't normal