Sunday, November 12, 2017

Another Trip to the Baby Canyon Group

To explore a site we'd seen on Google Earth and in a paper, but had yet to visit in person...

Starting at "New Windmill" [four rights, several steep hills, and two cattle fences from Bloody Basin exit off Interstate 17] we walked overland for two miles instead of descending/ascending (twice) the canyon like we did last time. Our path was marked with Junipers. Two miles doesn't sound like much of a walk but the ground is as much uneven volcanic boulders as it is soil.

We encountered several unexpected dwellings as we hiked in and out across Perry Mesa. Some had a half dozen rooms, others were vague outlines. This rectangular pattern of rocks was once a home, a 1,000 years or so ago...

A broken stone projectile point. The back third where it it would have been hafted to a shaft is missing. Normally we see the flakes remaining after the tool is made but not the tool itself.

The point was not made of the poor quality quartz usually seen on the mesa. The obsidian used to shape the flake on the left would have been imported from the Flagstaff area.

A wall of rock delineates our objective. One learns to look for an unlikely pile of rocks each of a size movable by one person.

The boulders ring an ancient circular courtyard cleared off in the middle.

The more remote the site, the larger the potsherds. Here most of the fragments were unadorned orange/red clay pots.

Some walls are still standing at close to full height.

A commanding view to the east. The breeze blowing across this promontory must have made for pleasant evenings.

The view to the west and and the site we visited last time about half mile in the distance.

A sheep petroglyph waits in the shade of the cliff across the saddle from the Baby Canyon Pueblo. Should have put something in the frame for scale; this was about a foot across.

A petroglyph of a deer on the rocks south of the Baby Canyon Pueblo.

The view from our lunch spot on the saddle of the Baby Canyon Pueblo.

Another break on the walk back. We carried plenty of water and it was cooler this time. 

Almost back to the "New Windmill" and the jeep. we saw several groups of hunters but heard no shots all day. We saw a group of mule deer close enough for a pistol shot and a very smart herd of pronghorn antelope on a ridge with miles long views in all directions.

Amazing what will pass for civilization after a day in the past.

After three visits to the Baby Canyon Group we’re ready for some less accessible sites.