Spring 2023 – Arizona to Ohio

We left southern Arizona to join our friends, Roy & Theresa, at a rally for owners of Grand Teton 5th wheels (even though we own a Heartland Bighorn & an Open Range Roamer, they are a very inclusive group!) As a part of this rally our group was treated to a special tour of the Verde Valley Archaeology Center and Museum, led by Executive Director Emeritus Ken Zoll and Director, Monica Buckle. Ken Zoll is famous for “discovering” sun calendars throughout the area, one of which we had visited that morning at V-V ranch.  He was very modest about his accomplishments, which include 3 books on the subject, with another one on the way.  We were totally impressed that he got up every morning for 2 years to watch the sun rise at V-V ranch! These are just two of the many pictograph panels at V-V.

We were allowed to observe volunteers working with pottery sherds and textile artifacts, as well as see the repository, both activities not usually available during normal visitation.  This museum is fortunate to have been the recipient of over 80,000 artifacts from the Dyck cliff dwelling, including numerous textiles from the 1050-1300 CE period, the largest collection in the Southwest.  Paul Dyck was a famous artist and preservationist, and he specifically wanted artifacts from the cliff dwelling on his property to remain in the Verde Valley.  The museum developed a permanent gallery of some of his memorabilia as well as many outstanding examples of his artwork.

Volunteers studying pottery sherds
Ollas (water pots)
Textile segment
Textile fragment
Shell bracelet
Yucca fiber sandal
Decorated arrow shaft fragments
Director Monica Buckles with Paul Dyke paintings
Painted mural of world view

We also learned that the Hopi people use the term Hisatsinom, meaning “The Ancient Ones” to describe their ancestors who lived in the Sedona/Verde Valley areas.  The term Sinagua, used for many years in archaeology circles and coined by the original Spanish explorers, is a misnomer, as it means “without water” and there was water in the area throughout the period of their occupation of this area.

View from Palatki
View from Palatki

While we were in the area, Judith and I visited Sedona, one of our favorite locales! We revisited Palatki Heritage Site where we had volunteered in 2016 and a nearby site that is little known and not adequately protected, Wu Ranch. She had first visited Wu Ranch when she went to Sedona in 1989 and then she had been unable to locate it for many years in future visits. It is still beautiful site.

We did not stop at my favorite spot for taking a Sedona picture because of the traffic, but here is a pic from near where we had stayed many years ago.

We visited the Airport Mesa, where there was a great view of Sedona’s red rocks.

Our drive across the country was pleasant. One night we stayed at a Wildlife center where animals unable to be released back into the wild are kept and cared for and displayed.

.We are now at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, where we spent last spring. It’s like coming home! Many, many friends have welcomed us back. We have enjoyed games of Wingspan with Andy & Annalise, and Trevor & Phoebe. Of course, I have taken a few pictures of the wildlife on our first drive through the refuge!

Tree Swallows
Great Blue Heron
Trumpeter Swan, head and neck feathers stained by water
Redwing Blackbird, male
Common Galinule
Otter with root to eat
Otter with root to eat
Great Egret
Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle
Sandhill Cranes

We will be here in Ohio at Ottawa until the end of May. Then we will head to Elizabeth A. Morton NWR on the far end of Long Island, in the middle of the Hamptons, for the summer, June, July & August.

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