Monday, July 19, 2010

DAY 19

 "Adobe Solitude"
8x10" Oil on Canvas

Yesterday we toured the breathtaking "Cliff Palace" rock dwellings where the first ancestral peoples in this area were hunters and gatherers some 10,000 to 15,000 years ago. A rigorous descent and assent beginning from the top of the mesa down very steep and narrow rock stairs and wooden ladders. Here are some photos. If you have never been to this archeological site, it is well worth the brutal heat, steep grades of windy switchbacks and difficult camping conditions.

Sadly to say, all of the mountains here are stripped of tall green trees only underbrush provides color. What once were forested mountains now appear as a graveyard full of stark bleached white skeletal remains of the trees due to natural wildfires caused by lightening strikes. Everywhere I look, twisted bones of flailing arms and fingers grasping toward the sky as if pleading to be rescued in their last moments from the inevitable fate of destruction. In the late 1200s, the Pueblos in these same mountains suddenly abandoned their dwellings for some unknown reason, perhaps choked out by the fires of drought.

Posting and phone service have been iffy at best the last couple of days along without any electricity, air conditioning or running water, so we are heading for the higher mountains to the north. 


  1. . . . we have always loved cliff dwellings and hope to take in again those in AZ sometime soon.

    Sounds like you guys are in need of a "comfort break."

  2. I sure could settle for a little hot water and light right now, plus our campsite was on a slant which totally drove us both nuts!!!

    I'd love to see the dwellings in they are spectacular also. Always great hearing from you, makes you not seem near so far away. Stay in touch.

  3. I have never been there, but it is on the 'list' now. I am looking forward to seeing your paintings of the above photos. Hang in there guys, I am envious of your 'trip to anywhere you feel like'! I want that on my 'list' too. Take care.