The Wonders of the Western World

As some of you know, we’re spending our second winter in Arizona. For those of you who haven’t been to southern Arizona in January and February let me recommend it with every fiber of my being.

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Last year, we spent most of our time team roping and barrel racing. We had a blast and the time went way to fast. This year, on two separate occasions, it has rained like it only can in the Arizona desert. Needless to say, the mud canceled all riding activities. This has been a plus for us this year.

We’ve had time to be tourists. Just south of Sedona is a place called Montezuma’s Castle. It is a cave dwelling over nine hundred years old. The only restoration has been to reapply the outer layer of clay to protect the buildings. Logs from the Arizona Sycamore were used to brace up the second and third floors, and the wood is still good today.

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Indians migrating north stopped here for about three hundred years before moving on to the Hopi Mesa where they still reside today. This cliff dwelling overlooks a river, shaded with many trees. What a wonderful place to live, then or now.

Next we went to Montezuma’s Well, a natural pond fed from an unknown source in the middle of the desert. The pond runs 1.9 million gallons of water a day and stays constant. There are two small cliff dwellings just under the rim in the picture.

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Our last stop was the petroglyphs on the V Bar V Ranch. The owners of the V Bar V protected the petroglyphs for almost a hundred years before letting the Parks Department take over. I think these affected me the most. Looking at pictures drawn by people from 900 to 1400 years ago astounds me. I could have stayed all day and absorbed the atmosphere and let my mind wander.

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These were drawn more than a thousand years ago.

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A couple dancing, probably a fertility rite.

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Herons, a duck, a dong and a sun symbol.

These drawings left me speechless. I know, but it’s true. What is the most amazing place you’ve ever visited?