Besh Ba Gowah

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October 11, 2017, Globe, AZ-

The Southwest is as abundant with remembrances of the past, as anywhere on Earth, and perhaps more than many places.  The various cultures and civilizations that came here, long before the Athapascans, the Comanches, the Utes, to say nothing of the Spanish and other Caucasians, will perhaps never be well understood.  I see, however, that in many ways, these distant ancestors of the Hopi, Zuni, Havasupai, Hualapai, Yavapai and Rio Grande Puebloans are mirrors of ourselves.  Visiting the Salado ruins at Besh Ba Gowah (Apache, for “Metal Camp”), I saw a carefully planned, apartment-based community, which relied on knowledge and cultivation of high desert plants, having drawn on the practices of the Huhugam and others who came here, well before the 11th and 12th Century heydays of the Salado people.

Here are a series of photos of the excavated and unexcavated ruins, the upper and lower gardens, of Besh Ba Gowah, lovingly restored and maintained by an appreciative City of Globe and its citizens.  I am not commenting on all of the individual photos, hoping that you may draw a sense of the vastness of this complex.

Entry to Excavated Ruins:

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The Excavated Ruins:


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Unexcavated Ruins:

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Arizona Gray Squirrel, a bit mottled by the dryness.

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Upper Ethnbotanical Garden:

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Lower Ethnobotanical Garden:

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Look closely, and spot a smiley face:

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Besh Ba Gowah, and Globe as a whole, are nicely placed between Flagstaff, Phoenix and Tucson, making this stunning area a natural place, in which to enjoy a Fall day or three.

NEXT:  The Further Glories of the Gila Wilderness

 

In Spirit Canyon

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April 2, 2017, Prescott- The second good part about yesterday, after being treated to a lunch prepared with love and caring, was a hike in the upper reaches of Queen Creek Canyon.  The trail I took lies about a mile or so east of Oak Flat.  A sign, at the bridge over Queen Creek, refers to Devil’s Canyon.  I would rather use the name Spirit Canyon, in the same vein as those, who love Wyoming’s iconic towering butte, use the name Spirit Tower.

So, there I was, again almost totally alone, with the gathering wind and dark, but high clouds, and one Arizona gray squirrel.  The canyon is as magnificent here, as it is closer to town.  The trail here leads up to the feet of the Pinal Mountains, which include Picket Post Mountain, on their western edge.

As always, one can imagine the rhyolite spires as fortresses and sentinels.

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This scrunchy-faced sentinel was “alert”.

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This rock almost reminded me of ribbon candy.

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Wild flowers, while still sparse, are popping up in bunches, here and there.

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Atop the canyon, alligator junipers take over from cacti, oaks and mesquite.

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The Pinal Mountains lie ahead, across a trail-less expanse of about two miles.

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As if to say “Heads up, there are fiery days ahead”, a small patch of Mexican Firecracker greeted me, as I got close to my car, at the end of the hike.

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Whether the days ahead are tranquil or turbulent, I know that I have plenty of friends, both human and spirit, in the vast expanse, of which Arizona is a central part.