Sunday, May 5, 2019

Gimme Shelter

A visit to a Hohokam hilltop fort in the Tonto National Forest...

After a climb of about 800 feet (245 meters) to the ridge line our goal was in sight, though we didn't know it at the time.

The first up close view as we approached the crest of the hill.

We're told the walls were once nine feet (2.7 meters) tall, but most have crumbled.

The wall at the north end is still about seven feet (2.1 meters) in height.

A peep hole served to keep an eye on the north slope of the hill.

It was a beautiful day, only about 90F (32C) on Sunday, April 28. Wouldn't think of visiting in the summer.

There is a circular enclosure within the walls at the south end of the fort.

When the walls were intact they would have provided excellent protection against attack from below.

The view to the south.

This and several other sites we visited over the past couple years were first described to us by Arizona Ruins. Due to the proximity of modern civilization, the authors of that helpful site were careful not to give too much away with regard to location.  We'll respect that choice and abide by the philosophy.

Monday, April 8, 2019

A Long Hike

Into the past...

Our route to Packard Mesa

We ascended 1300 feet in two miles

After another four miles of hiking

The Sinagua cliff dwelling tucked in a recess in the volcanic cliff

Built with sandstone slabs, pine logs, and mud plaster

This was once a two story structure

Some of the walls have collapsed or been torn down by looters

The site is fragile so we didn't enter the highest section

Vicky the adventurer

Mud plaster still visible on the walls

800 year old wood lintel

The post was hewn by hand with stone tools

These were the floors of the second level

Don't often see intact roofs or floors at the sites we visit

Sycamore Canyon Wilderness

We cooked and dined outdoors on the south side of the ridge

Sunset from our dinner table was beautiful

The Marmot Tungsten 2P performed as expected

The morning view from our breakfast nook

The San Francisco Peaks in the distance, the cliff dwelling was on the other side of the bumpy ridge in the middle distance

Thursday, February 28, 2019

A Trip to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Cassie and I spent a week in Jordan over winter break...

A tomb outside the Siq at Petra.

The Treasury at Petra.

On our way to the High Place of Sacrifice.

Cassie's knees are so much younger than mine!

The High Place of Sacrifice.

The Garden Temple.

The Monastery was named for cruciform images inscribed on interior walls. It's three times larger than The Treasury, and nearly at the top of a mountain.

From Petra we traveled to Wadi rum. This is the view from Lawrence Spring.

Reminds me a little of Monument Valley in Arizona, except instead of lava capped flat mesas, the sandstone mountains are weathered round at the tops.

The view from our Day One lunch stop.

Petroglyphs dating from at least the time of the Nabateans.

A brief hike through a shaded canyon.

Cassie atop The Big Arch. Yes, I remained below...

Sunset reminded me of home.

Cassie strikes a pose on the Khasch Route.

Aqaba is about an hour that a way, if you're a crow doing 100 kph.

The evening's entertainment in the main tent after supper the second evening.

Desolate views in all directions from Crusader Castle Shobak.

One can see for miles and miles (or kilometers and kilometers) from the heights of Castle Kerak.

Cassie and I spent New Year's Eve at the Holiday Inn Dead Sea. That's Israel across the lake...err..sea. We bobbed in the brine New Year's Day.

In the foreground is Umm Qais, formerly the Roman city of Gadara. On the right across the valley are the Golan Heights occupied by Israel for their obvious strategic and tactical advantage. In the distance beyond them is the Sea of Galilee (called Lake Tiberius by the Jordanians).

Along this road to west, and outside the perimeter of the ruin, is the Gadara cemetery, by tradition the scene of the New Testament story of the Demoniac of Gadara.

This road once lead from Jerash, Jordan to Damascus, Syria.