13 May 2006 Saturday

At Homolovi Ruins State Park campground, it was nice to have a hot shower and unlimited water at our campsite, even if we did have to pay for it.  We went out to Hololovi I ruins this morning.  We were greeted with a sign warning of QUICKSAND.  You got to love this country!  We’ve got everything, even quicksand!  This is an unexcavated site and doesn’t look like much.  We did find thousands of pottery shards in the area.  All artifacts, pottery shards included, are protected by law and disturbing them can evoke some hefty fines.  Some people have moved some shards onto flat rocks and I took photos of the more interesting pieces.  We moved onto Homolovi II ruins.  This site was partially excavated and still had lots of pottery shards.  We checked at the Visitor Center and asked about the pottery left at the sites.  (I figured they would have gathered them up, numbered and stuck in a museum drawer)  We found out that the modern day Hopi are believed to be the decedents of the people that once lived here and they had requested the pot shard be left at the site.  It seems that the Homolovi/Hopi have a belief of a great light-skinned shaman, Bahana, who left to go east.  When asked how he would find his people as they migrated, they were told to break pottery as they left a site to move on and Bahana would follow the pieces to find them where ever they went.  So, for religious purposes, they excavated these sites, then filled them in and left the broken pottery there.

We next went to the Petrified Forest National Park in the Painted Desert.  We stopped at a few petrified wood stands outside the park.  You cannot collect petrified wood from inside the park, but this was gathered outside the park and for sale.  Even inside the park, they have petrified wood for sale in the gift shop and it is noted that it was collected outside the park on private land.  We drove thru and  saw a pueblo ruin that had a hundred room and some petroglyphs.  We continued our drive thru the Painted Desert.  The views were nice, but we’ve become jaded, since many areas of the same region have similar geology and similar formations.  We find ourselves comparing this park to that park and it’s just not fair to some of the smaller parks.  

We stopped by a place called Hubble Trading Post.  We had heard that this was a historic site and we shouldn’t miss it.  Well, we missed it.  We got there after 6pm, when they closed.  

We moved on to the Navajo Reservation and Canyon de Chelly (de Shay).  They have a free campground and we found a spot in the very crowded place.  We met the camp host and his dog, Bob.  We also made friends with what we feel was a res-dog.  In talking with different people, it seems that Native Americans on Reservations don’t treat their dogs like the pampered pooches that others do.  The dogs are not spayed or neutered and seldom have all their shots.  They are outside dogs and are free to roam.  Only slightly better off than a stray.  They are referred to as res-dogs.   We played with one of the dogs and missed our pampered pooch, Simon. 

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