Yes, I know. It’s been awhile. Again.
I have continued to hike Agua Fria National Monument (which is currently threatened by the Trump Administration’s “review” of monuments set up over the past 20 years – but, that’s another story and I’ll cover it later). I’m up over 16,000 photographs, 730 habitation structures documented, 300 plus trips to the monument and over 1,450 km hiked.
I also tried to get back into running last fall. Jill (my absolutely better half) and I signed up with a 3 month training program designed to get you running a 10k. The program was done by the local Runners’ Den and included group runs every Saturday. We were in the slow/beginners group. I jogged. Jill walked. We did it together. Slowly. Our miles were about 18 to 20 minutes each. At the end of the program you were registered to run in two different races. The first one was 10k and we finished. We were so spectacular that we had a police escort right behind us. Motorcycles, bike and patrol car. And right behind them were the city workers picking up the orange cones marking the race course. Yes, we finished dead last. For the second one we downgraded ourselves to a 5k and finished it, too. And there were a few people who came in behind us. Maybe 10? So we weren’t last.
This weekend a group associated with the Friends of the Tonto National Forest did an archaeological survey up on Perry Mesa. The west half of Perry Mesa is Agua Fria National Monument and the east half is Tonto. I got to participate. There were about a dozen of us, including a retired Tonto archaeologist and a professor from ASU as leaders. We had lots of fun. Found five or six field houses, lots of pottery sherds, a rattle snake, a horney toad and several petroglyph panels. I normally walk alone up in those areas because I love the peaceful nature of it and use the opportunity to clear my mind. However, the benefit of a dozen extra pairs of eyes in locating exciting archaeological artifacts or features cannot be underestimated. Afterwards, several of us stopped in Rock Springs on the way back for their third and last 2017 “Hogs in Heat” all-you-can-eat BBQ event. Spent several hours eating, talking and watching the local Black Canyon City folks whoop and holler as they danced to the music of both a band and a DJ.
Later this week I’ll try and remember to spend some time typing up a blog entry about the Trump administration “review” of national monuments. I need to gather more information and also stop ranting so much or what I blog will be nothing but curse words.