A Travellerspoint blog

Hide and Go Seek!

Rule: You can only hide in Arazona, New Mexico, Utah or Colorado

Everything here is Ancient or Godly...
What Gives?

I would like to officially call the area in the Metro Parks around the Chalet:
Playground of the Goddesses
(because of the toboggan shoots).

As you saw, we got some great shots of the sunset at Monument Valley, so we are driving in the dark (with heat on- Hell Yeah!). I can make it all the way to Canyons of the Ancients, and I am set on doing it. Joe tries to distract by having us stop at a diner, but after we are done eating, I let him blog and I went and napped in the car (the place closed in less than an hour, so I figured he couldn't be long). But when he came out of the restaurant and opened the car door I jumped out of my seat (luckily the roof on my car is soft). I was in a very deep sleep (I drooled a little), and I can only get from over an hour of napping (I had been out for 2). So his plan backfired, and I was ready to drive a few hours. But then we pass a sign for Valley of the Gods. I tell him that its not worth us driving in the morning, and I want to get there on schedule. But Joe being Joe, he had a point, we would be driving the 2 hours either in the light or in the dark, and it may as well be light (foiled!) So you thought we would make it out of Arazona and hit Utah (we were almost there), but we only made it like 15 minutes out of Monument Valley.

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Ancient People Didn't Use Road Signs

After seeing Valley of the Gods (not bad, nice to see with daylight) we drove to Canyons of Ancients... or we tried to. First I get distracted by a sign for the Four Corners. I thought we were going to go there, but Joe just called the whole Mesa Verde area Four Corners, so he didn't plug it into the GPS. I follow the signs (only 9 miles away). When we get we left Utah, hopped into Arazona, and drove into New Mexico where the entrance was. I pull up to the booth and I tell Joe to hide under our sleeping bag in the back seat as I ask the woman why it cost $3 per person to shop at the vendors and see a plate sized plaque that says 4 states intersect there. She explains it will be more worth it later when more vendors show up, and I ask if I could just turn around and come back in the afternoon (yeah right).

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So back on track, we drove to where the GPS told us to go (b/c there were absolutely no signs for Canyons of the Ancients). We ended up driving through all these narrow dirt roads, and I get a real bad feeling. Tensions are high again, Joe acting as the side seat driver, and I acting as the lost and nervous driver.

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We go back to the paved road, and we try a different entrance into the park, and as we are driving we see some cars parked in front of some really cool looking monoliths. We turn the car around and pull in, then we see off in the distance towards the rocks, a trail map sign. We have to walk up to the sign before we can read that this was in fact Canyons of the Ancients.

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Then we walk the path to nature. All the pueblos are located on the north entrance, and we are at the south. Its about an 8 mile hike one way to get to the nearest pueblo, so we decide to take in the canyons and enjoy the landscape rather than get back in the car and play some more hide and go seek.

Then guess what?

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I was amazed. I'm not sure if we were allowed to be there, but we weren't the only footprints.

A shitty version of Mui Fa Kuien:

I do a punch instead of a vertical knife edge before the overhead smash, but other than that I think all the moves are right. Well, the slide in stance with the tiger claw I do at the end right against the wall is supposed to be a bow and arrow stance, but I ran out of room, so I don't really count it as a mistake. What I do count as a mistake is kicking my left hand while doing a shitty flying crescent kick. If I was going to kick my healing arm, I should have at least done a high, long, and graceful kick (not that I've had one of those in a good long while).

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We leave and walk the trail some more, and Joe hears rushing water. We of course leave the trail and follow dry creek beds to the sound of water. Then we hit a fence (does not stop Joe). He blows through and runs into several instances where men on horseback came near and he had to fall to prone position. Then he had to do a spinning sideways parquor jump to get over a rickety gate that couldn't hold his weight. Was it something I could do? Joe thought so, but lately (the past few months) I've lost all my nerve. Was it worth all of his sneaking around? You decide:

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He was gone for a good long while, and I wished I had told him that I'd meet him back at the car. I walk slower than he does, so odds are he would catch up. I really needed water at this point because we had been hiking for several hours at this point and my throat was completely dry. When Joe got back he says that we can get there quicker by going off the trail and doing a little more climbing.

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We did a lot more climbing, all the way past where the car was and into someone's property. We climbed a rock that the barbwire fence fell down over its crest, walked over the fallen fence, and then backtracked along the road. We think we see the monoliths in the distance, and they were the same (thank God!) Ally Ally Oxen Free (is that how it goes? What the hell does that mean anyways?)

Who's Car is This?

We make it to Mesa Verde really late, so we only had time to see one site before dark.

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We noticed that there was another site not too far down the road, but we didn't see a path to it. Since we were pretty much the only ones there we drove the car to where the site was, and we made our own path from the road.

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Then we see flashing red and blue lights. Fuck. I don't have the title, I don't have real plates, and I don't have insurance. We call to the cop/ ranger "We are over here!" We see him look around and we clarify "We were just taking a quick look at the ruins over here!" He doesn't look any way, just kinda blank. I don't know what he's going to say, and I try to hid the fact that I'm holding my breath. Like in Bambi or Secret of Nim (one of those old kinda depressing animal movies) when the birds can't wait as they hide from the hunters/ farmers/ possibly a cat; anyways against the other animals warning, they fly (and then they die... and it even rhymes). I open my mouth and start explaining that we didn't see a path to this site, and we really wanted to see it before it got dark, blablabla. He takes in my explanation patiently, and then tells me where the trial head was. "Reall? Because we were just there and we didn't see it." He explains exactly where it was, and then I continue the conversation (my tactic, crying works after they drop the axe on you, but to keep their weapons holstered, I find that striking up a conversation really works). I start asking him about the Mummy Lake trail that was in the same area. I tell him we walked the whole path, but we never saw it. Turns out it was an old sign and Mummy Lake was the circular farming apparatus we saw. As predicted, he just tells us not to just park in the road, especially at night, and if I have an emergency and I have to park, I should turn my hazards on. I smack my forehead and blame it on my girlish excitement. Then he tells us that we have to leave the park b/c it closes at dusk.

Moving onto Morning

That night we got a great hotel for one person (Joe hid in the car), and it was a great night, but great things never last...

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The next morning we went back to Mesa Verde and we found a really cool spot where they let you crawl into one of the tunnels that connects Kiva's to the towers.

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I don't think we were supposed to go all the way through since both the Kiva and the Tower were roped off, but we did anyways. Joe kept asking me if he could do Ba Gua in one of the Kivas, but I was completely against it. Not only could we get kicked out, but the Kivas are sacred places, weather its sacred to you doesn't matter. He tried to tell me that doing Ba Gua was his way of showing how he finds it sacred, but I wasn't buying it. So, compromise, here is Joe doing Ba Gua in one of the towers.

Then we make it to the main attraction! If you thought I was excited at Canyons of the Ancients, wait till you see me walking through an entire city! Was that mean of me to say? I'm I getting you all pumped up just to let you know that it was closed? Well, do you at least feel like you were there with us experiencing our disappointment? Joe was ready to jump the fence (not as easy as I make it seem) when I point out the sign on the gate that said that trespassing would result anywhere from a $500 fine to 6 months in jail. I would live. Plus, he said that I could go in pueblos at Canyon De Chelly.

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We hit a few more things, but then we head to the Museum where there is still one pueblo open to the public! I guess they shut the rest down because its their off season and they don't have enough staff to watch over the ruins.

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Yeah, I couldn't go inside the buildings, but we got to go inside a Kiva!

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And Yeah, here is Joe doing Ba Gua in a Kiva.

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Then... the moment we've all been waiting for (it had to happen sometime, I'm surprised it took this long to tell you the truth)... the fight. Joe was going to run and fill up our water bottles, and I said that I was going to send Christmas gifts since the post office was right there. But when I get back from the post office, Joe is not at the car. I look for a note (like the one I left him at the Navajo National Monument so we wouldn’t have another incident like at the first trip to the Grand Canyon), but there is no note. I check back at the ruins… not there, I check the bathroom… not there, I check the post office… not there. I would try to be more patient, but the sun was setting and Joe knew I was in a rush to get to the Mesa Loop drive. Was this payback for rushing him the whole day, but then I can take 10 min. to send packages I’d been carrying since the Grand Canyon (yes, some of you are getting gifts from the big GC). I finally decide to leave him after I wait in the car 15 min after already searching for him for the same amount of time. Just as the law says, Joe came running up to the car with the toiletries bag. Turns out he was in the bathroom, but he didn’t hear me call in. Well, needless to say Joe wasn’t pleased with how upset I was that I didn’t know where he was, and I wasn’t pleased that he didn’t understand that I found it inconsiderate to not tell me when he changes plans weather its where we are or when we are meeting. We hide from each other as we tour the loop separately.

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I'm not sure (since we weren't really speaking at this point), but I think Joe liked this Kiva the best because it was the only one at Mesa Verde (that we saw) that was 8 sided. All the other Kiva's were 6 sided to represent the 4 cardinal directions as well as up and down. It was also the most structurally sound number of supports to use for the diameter of the Kiva. This Kiva was much bigger, and there is speculation as to if it was built with 8 b/c they wanted to have bigger gatherings, or they made a bigger Kiva to fit a new spiritual number. I'm not sure what the other 2 represent, but I'm sure if you are interested you can find it on the internet.

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Ironic: The pictures with green trees on the mesa surround the Sun Temple (not easy to see from across the canyon, up close photos next), and the pictures with all the trees burned in the forest fire are above the Fire Temple.

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Talking gradually begins every time we get back in the car, and our differences are set aside for our sanity’s sake.

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We leave at dusk, and this time I get my way (see how we compromise?) and we drive straight from Mesa Verde to Canyon De Chelly.

When we get there we look for a motel to sleep at (their parking lot, not room), but we hold our breath and hope that Canyon De Chelly has a campground that is still open for the season. Right when we pull in there is a sign for the campground, and at the booth there is a sign up that says that the sites are donation only (guess who is getting paid for our camping?) This time we actually set up the tent, and I remember how nice it is to choose to curl up into a ball on your side rather than being forced to by the length of the car.

But do you want to know the very best part in my opinion? We didn’t have to hide at all, not one little bit. We were welcome to camp there, and it was lovely.

Posted by - Rain 06:23

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Comments

yay a video of vanessa,and she's not hiding in a ditch! nice form vanessa! and no, i don't think you've lost your nerve, you are older than joe and i just think you've gained some brain cells, your brain finally stops growing at 25, and maybe your common sense arrived - possibly hastened by your recent experience of breaking your arm in such a simple way, and almost ruining your trip! i also really love that tripod tree and rock, i think i want to get that enlarged and frame it, nature is awesome!

by georgi r

I think this blog should be subtitled "Joe is stuck" (if you haven't watched the videos you won't get it) I also love reading between the lines of "Joe wanted to do Ba Gua in a Kiva and I was totally against it" and "Yeah, here's Joe doing Ba Gua in a Kiva"

by georgi r

Reading between the lines? Is my witting more deep than I think it is? Or is that just not quite the wording you were looking for? Maybe more literal than metaphorical?

by - Rain

yup, literal and sarcastical :)

by georgi r

stop walking in the desert wth no water! get a bota bag or something. christ.

by laurr

Nothing like a big scary spider to make you feel like crawling through some old ruins! :-)

by buddy-JC

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