Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day #3

 We booked a 4 hour tour with this company - off road which was AWESOME!!!!! as well as a tour of some ruins.
 Here we go - hold on - it is a bumpy but EXHILERATING ride! The guide kiddingly asked me, at one point, if I wanted to drive - little did he know I was serious when I said yes!
 This is one of the best pictures I have ever had taken - I love this one - it was taken by our guide out in the wilderness...I usually duck having my photo taken cause I never like my own picture - and I think this was the only time on the trip that we had photos taken of ourselves that they didnt then try to sell back to us!
 This was part of the more civilized part of the road we were on - the fun part, I was holding one so wasnt able to take many photos of it!
 Keyhole Rock - hubby can actually take pretty good photos when I ask him to!
 From here on down there are a lot of photos of the cliff dwellings and pictographs at Honokai

 This shows three 'generations' of wall built at the cliff dwelling - from left to right - 1200 years ago, 1300 years ago, and 1400 years ago.

 Lots of defacement - from years before this became protected property - to just a few weeks ago. They have someone in attendance from sun up to sun down and have installed cameras but people are still defacing the property. Why??? I jsut dont get it. The worst of it all is that some of the defacement has been done right on top of centuries old pictographs.....if caught, the punishment is prison time which I think is very appropriate.

 After we had lunch, we drove up to Jerome, a mining town that became a ghost town....and then squatters moved in....artists and hippies and have pretty much saved the town! The only reason I can think that Jerome has thrived more than Virginia City is that it is closer to larger cities, which means more people come there more of the time....otherwise Jerome reminded me of Virginia City.
I am so happy that not once on our trip did we come across one of these 'guard dogs'. Another two reasons I do not like the desert - rattlers, and even worse, scorpions....and the only ones I saw this time were all in souvenier shops!

Got back to the Lodge in time to watch the Solar Eclipse. I guess I was dumb - but I really thought that a place who advertises that they have the best place in town to view sunsets, would also be prepared for people to want to watch the solar eclipse. The lookout areas on the way up to Sky Ranch Lodge were PACKED with people waiting for the eclipse and all the paraphanalia they needed to watch it. So we went into the gift shop/lobby....and they all acted like they had no clue what we were talking about when we asked about viewing devices for the solar eclipse. They didnt even act like they knew what the eclipse was!

One guest said they had gotten their things at the Grand Canyon - and laughed when Tom said he thought it was too far to drive. Shortly after that while we were sitting outside, one of the people in his party came up to us and loaned us a viewing device. So we got to enjoy the eclipse after all - and shared it with a trio of 'well-lubricated' young men, and an older woman from Tucson.

Going out to dinner that night was interesting - we thought everyone would be watching the eclipse, and wanted to get going before all those people were leaving the Mesa - and we found out that apparently Sunday night was a very popular night for everyone to go out to dinner. So we ended up eating at the Red Planet Diner. It was okay - even tho they initially forgot hubby's salad, and my tacos came out in flour tortillas rather than corn.

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