AGAVE PROJECT IN NEW MEXICO

AGAVE PROJECT IN NEW MEXICO

A photo of Linden Hudson, taken while he was working as sound engineer on a documentary film.

Who is Linden Hudson?

CLASSICBANDS DOT COM said: “According to former roadie David Blayney in his book SHARP DRESSED MEN: sound engineer Linden Hudson co-wrote much of the material on the ZZ Top ELIMINATOR album.” (end quote)

(ZZ Top never opted to give Linden credit, which would have been THE decent thing to do. It would have helped Linden’s career as well. The band and management worked ruthlessly to take FULL credit for the hugely successful album which Linden had spent a good deal of time working on. Linden works daily to tell this story. Also, the band did not opt to pay Linden, they worked to keep all the money and they treated Linden like dirt. It was abuse. Linden launched a limited lawsuit, brought about using his limited resources which brought limited results and took years. No one should treat the co-writer of their most successful album like this. It’s just deeply fucked up.)
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Hear the original ZZ Top ELIMINATOR writing/rehearsal tapes made by Linden Hudson and Billy Gibbons at: www.flickr.com/photos/152350852@N02/35711891332/in/photol...
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Read Linden’s story of the making of the super-famous ZZ Top ELIMINATOR album at: www.flickr.com/people/152350852@N02/
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LICKLIBRARY DOT COM (2013 Billy Gibbons interview) ZZ TOP’S BILLY GIBBONS FINALLY ADMITTED: “the Eliminator sessions in 1983 were guided largely by another one of our associates, Linden Hudson, a gifted engineer, during the development of those compositions.” (end quote) (Gibbons admits this after 30 years, but offers Linden no apology or reparations for lack of credit/royalties)
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MUSICRADAR DOT COM (2013 interview with ZZ Top’s guitarist Billy Gibbons broke 30 years of silence about Linden Hudson introducing synthesizers into ZZ Top’s sound.) Gibbons said: “This was a really interesting turning point. We had befriended somebody who would become an influential associate, a guy named Linden Hudson. He was a gifted songwriter and had production skills that were leading the pack at times. He brought some elements to the forefront that helped reshape what ZZ Top were doing, starting in the studio and eventually to the live stage. Linden had no fear and was eager to experiment in ways that would frighten most bands. But we followed suit, and the synthesizers started to show up on record.” (once again, there was no apology from ZZ Top or Billy Gibbons after this revelation).
+++
TEXAS MONTHLY MAGAZINE (Dec 1996, By Joe Nick Patoski): "Linden Hudson floated the notion that the ideal dance music had 124 beats per minute; then he and Gibbons conceived, wrote, and recorded what amounted to a rough draft of an album before the band had set foot inside Ardent Studios."
+++
FROM THE BOOK: SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP (By David Blayney) : "Probably the most dramatic development in ZZ Top recording approaches came about as Eliminator was constructed. What had gone on before evolutionary; this change was revolutionary. ZZ Top got what amounted to a new bandsman (Linden) for the album, unknown to the world at large and at first even to Dusty and Frank."
+++
CNET DOT COM: (question posed to ZZ Top): Sound engineer Linden Hudson was described as a high-tech music teacher on your highly successful "Eliminator" album. How much did the band experiment with electronic instruments prior to that album?
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THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE, MARCH 2018: "Eliminator" had a tremendous impact on us and the people who listen to us," says ZZ Top’s bass player. Common band lore points to production engineer Linden Hudson suggesting that 120 beats per minute was the perfect rock tempo, or "the people’s tempo" as it came to be known.
+++
FROM THE BOOK: SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP by David Blayney: (page 227): "…the song LEGS Linden Hudson introduced the pumping synthesizer effect."
+++
(Search Linden Hudson in the various ZZ Top Wikipedia pages which are related to the ELIMINATOR album and you will find bits about Linden. Also the main ZZ Top Wikipedia page mentions Linden. He’s mentioned in at least 7 ZZ Top related Wikipedia pages.)
+++
FROM THE BOOK: SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP By David Blayney: "Linden found himself in the position of being Billy’s (Billy Gibbons, ZZ Top guitarist) closest collaborator on Eliminator. In fact, he wound up spending more time on the album than anybody except Billy. While the two of them spent day after day in the studio, they were mostly alone with the equipment and the ideas."
+++
FROM THE BOOK: BEER DRINKERS & HELL RAISERS: A ZZ TOP GUIDE (By Neil Daniels, released 2014): "Hudson reportedly had a significant role to play during the planning stages of the release (ELIMINATOR)."
+++
FROM THE BOOK: ZZ TOP – BAD AND WORLDWIDE (ROLLING STONE PRESS, WRITTEN BY DEBORAH FROST): "Linden was always doing computer studies. It was something that fascinated him, like studio technology. He thought he might understand the components of popular songs better if he fed certain data into his computer. It might help him understand what hits (song releases) of any given period share. He first found out about speed; all the songs he studied deviated no more than one beat from 120 beats per minute. Billy immediately started to write some songs with 120 beats per minute. Linden helped out with a couple, like UNDER PRESSURE and SHARP DRESSED MAN. Someone had to help Billy out. Dusty and Frank didn’t even like to rehearse much. Their studio absence wasn’t really a problem though. The bass and drum parts were easily played with a synthesizer or Linn drum machine." (end quote)
+++
FROM THE BOOK: "SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP" BY DAVID BLAYNEY: "After his quantitative revelations, Linden informally but instantly became ZZ Top’s rehearsal hall theoretician, producer, and engineer." (end quote)
+++
FROM THE BOOK: "ZZ TOP – BAD AND WORLDWIDE" (ROLLING STONE PRESS, BY DEBORAH FROST): "With the release of their ninth album, ELIMINATOR, in 1983, these hairy, unlikely rock heroes had become a pop phenomenon. This had something to do with the discoveries of a young preproduction engineer (Linden Hudson) whose contributions, like those of many associated with the band over the years, were never acknowledged."
+++
FROM THE BOOK: ​SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP (By DAVID BLAYNEY) : "The integral position Linden occupied in the process of building El​iminator was demonstrated eloquently in the case of song Under Pressure. Billy and Linden, the studio wizards, did the whole song all in one afternoon without either the bass player or drummer even knowing it had been written and recorded on a demo tape. Linden synthesized the bass and drums and helped write the lyrics; Billy did the guitars and vocals."
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FROM THE BOOK: "TRES HOMBRES – THE STORY OF ZZ TOP" BY DAVID SINCLAIR (Writer for the Times Of London): "Linden Hudson, the engineer/producer who lived at Beard’s house (ZZ’s drummer) had drawn their attention to the possibilities of the new recording technology and specifically to the charms of the straight drumming pattern, as used on a programmed drum machine. On ELIMINATOR ZZ Top unveiled a simple new musical combination that cracked open a vast worldwide market.
+++
FROM THE BOOK: "SHARP DRESS MEN – ZZ TOP" BY DAVID BLAYNEY: "ELIMINATOR went on to become a multi-platinum album, just as Linden had predicted when he and Billy were setting up the 124-beat tempos and arranging all the material. Rolling Stone eventually picked the album as number 39 out of the top 100 of the 80’s. Linden Hudson in a fair world shoud have had his name all over ELIMINATOR and gotten the just compensation he deserved. Instead he got ostracized."
+++
FROM THE BOOK: ​SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP by DAVID BLAYNEY: "He (Linden) went back with the boys to 1970 when he was working as a radio disc jocky aliased Jack Smack. He was emcee for a show ZZ did around that time, and even sang an encore tune with the band, perhaps the only person ever to have that honor." (side note: this was ZZ Top’s very first show).
+++
FROM THE BOOK: "SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP" BY DAVID BLAYNEY: "Linden remained at Frank’s (ZZ Top drummer) place as ZZ’s live-in engineer throughout the whole period of ELIMINATOR rehearsals, and was like one of the family… as he (Linden) worked at the controls day after day, watching the album (ELIMINATOR) take shape, his hopes for a big step forward in his production career undoubtably soared. ELIMINATOR marked the first time that ZZ Top was able to rehearse an entire album with the recording studio gadgetry that Billy so loved. With Linden Hudson around all the time, it also was the first time the band could write, rehearse, and record with someone who knew the men and the machines. ZZ Top was free to go musically crazy, but also musically crazy like a fox. Linden made that possible too."
+++
FROM THE BOOK "ZZ TOP – BAD AND WORLDWIDE" (ROLLING STONE PRESS, BY DEBORAH FROST, WRITER FOR ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE): "… SHARP DRESSED MAN which employed Hudson’s 120 beat-per-minute theory. The feel, the enthusiasm, the snappy beat and crisp clean sound propelled ELIMINATOR into the ears and hearts of 5 million people who previously could have cared less about the boogie band of RIO GRANDE MUD."
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THE GREATEST ROCK REBRAND OF ALL TIME (by Jason Miller): "Sound engineer Linden Hudson researched the tempos at which the most popular rock tracks in the charts had been recorded. His data showed that there was something very special about 120 beats to a minute. Gibbons decided to record pretty much the whole of ZZ Top’s new album at that tempo. The result? 1983’s Eliminator. It was named after Gibbons’ Ford Coupé; it had been created through a unique combination of creative collaboration and data mining. And it was about to take the world by storm."
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ULTIMATECLASSICROCK DOT COM: "This new melding of styles was encouraged by Hudson, who served as a kind of pre-producer for ​EL LOCO … … Hudson helped construct ZZ Top drummer Frank Beard’s home studio, and had lived with him for a time. That led to these initial sessions, and then a closer collaboration on 1983’s ​ELIMINATOR.
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FIREDOGLAKE DOT COM: "I like Billy Gibbons’ guitar tone quite a lot, but I lost all respect for them after reading how badly they fucked over Linden Hudson (the guy who was the brains behind their move to include synthesizers and co-wrote most of their career-defining Eliminator record)."
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EMAIL FROM A ZZ TOP FAN TO LINDEN (One Of Many): "I write you today about broken hearts, one is mine and one is for you. I have been a ZZ Top fan since I was 6 years old. I purchased ELIMINATOR vinyl from Caldors in Connecticut with the $20 my grandma gave me for my birthday. I will spare the #1 fan epic saga of tee shirts, harassing Noreen at the fan club via phone weekly for years, over 40 shows attended. Posters, non stop conversation about the time I have spent idolizing this band, but more Billy G, as he has seemed to break free of the Lone Wolf shackles and it became more clear this was his baby. In baseball I was Don Mattingly’s #1 fan, Hershel Walker in football, Billy Gibbons in music. What do these individuals have in common? They were role models. Not a DUI, not a spousal abuse, not a drug overdose, not a cheater. Until I read your web page. I read Blayney’s book around 1992 or so, I was in middle school and I was familiar with your name for a long time. I didn’t realize you suffered so greatly or that your involvement was so significant. It pains me to learn my idol not only cheated but did something so wrong to another being. I now know this is where tall tales and fun loving bullshit and poor morals and ethics are distinguished and where I would no longer consider myself to look up to Billy. I love to joke and I love credit but I have always prided myself on ethics and principles… I hold them dear. I wanted to say, the snippet of UNDER PRESSURE you played sounded very new wave and I may like it more than the finished product. Well that’s all. You have reached ZZ Top’s biggest fan and I can let others know. Bummer. Cheers and good luck. James."​
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VINYLSTYLUS DOT COM: Much of Eliminator was recorded at 124bpm, the tempo that considered perfect for dance music by the band’s associate Linden Hudson. An aspiring songwriter, former DJ and – at the time – drummer Frank Beard’s house-sitter, Hudson’s involvement in the recording of the album would come back to haunt them. Despite assisting Gibbons with the pre-production and developing of the material that would end up on both El Loco and Eliminator, his contribution wasn’t credited when either record was released.
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INFOMORY DOT COM: ‘Eliminator’ is a studio album of the American rock band ZZ Top. It was released on March 23, 1983 and topped the charts worldwide. Its lyrics were co-written by the band’s sound engineer Linden Hudson while the band denied it.

Posted by lindenhud1 on 2017-10-03 03:00:59

Tagged: , agave , linden hudson , film crew member , documentary , new mexico , indian reservation , fire , morning , beautiful country , woods , forest , cooking_agave , plant , agave_plant , mountains , cold , documentary_film , indians , usa , america , god’s_country , southern_united_states , southern_usa , american , documentery , film_shoot , desert , ritual , tradition

LINDEN HUDSON ON FILM CREW

LINDEN HUDSON ON FILM CREW

Photo by a crewmember.

Image shot by Linden Hudson (amateur photographer). This is a freeze-frame from video he shot.

Who is Linden Hudson?

CLASSICBANDS DOT COM said: “According to former roadie David Blayney in his book SHARP DRESSED MEN: sound engineer Linden Hudson co-wrote much of the material on the ZZ Top ELIMINATOR album.” (end quote)

(ZZ Top never opted to give Linden credit, which would have been THE decent thing to do. It would have helped Linden’s career as well. The band and management worked ruthlessly to take FULL credit for the hugely successful album which Linden had spent a good deal of time working on. Linden works daily to tell this story. Also, the band did not opt to pay Linden, they worked to keep all the money and they treated Linden like dirt. It was abuse. Linden launched a limited lawsuit, brought about using his limited resources which brought limited results and took years. No one should treat the co-writer of their most successful album like this. It’s just deeply fucked up.)
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(see full story at Linden’s website: www.linden-hudson.com/birth-of-the-zz-top-eliminator-album )
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Hear the original ZZ Top ELIMINATOR writing/rehearsal tapes made by Linden Hudson and Billy Gibbons at: www.flickr.com/photos/152350852@N02/35711891332/in/photol…
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LICKLIBRARY DOT COM (2013 interview) ZZ TOP’S BILLY GIBBONS SAID: “the Eliminator sessions in 1983 were guided largely by another one of our associates, Linden Hudson, a gifted engineer, during the development of those compositions.” (end quote) (Gibbons admits this after 30 years, but offers Linden no apology or reparations for lack of credit/royalties)
+++
MUSICRADAR DOT COM (2013 interview with ZZ Top’s guitarist Billy Gibbons broke 30 years of silence about Linden Hudson introducing synthesizers into ZZ Top’s sound.) Gibbons said: “This was a really interesting turning point. We had befriended somebody who would become an influential associate, a guy named Linden Hudson. He was a gifted songwriter and had production skills that were leading the pack at times. He brought some elements to the forefront that helped reshape what ZZ Top were doing, starting in the studio and eventually to the live stage. Linden had no fear and was eager to experiment in ways that would frighten most bands. But we followed suit, and the synthesizers started to show up on record.” (once again, there was no apology from ZZ Top or Billy Gibbons after this revelation).
+++
TEXAS MONTHLY MAGAZINE (Dec 1996, By Joe Nick Patoski): "Linden Hudson floated the notion that the ideal dance music had 124 beats per minute; then he and Gibbons conceived, wrote, and recorded what amounted to a rough draft of an album before the band had set foot inside Ardent Studios."
+++
FROM THE BOOK: SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP (By David Blayney) : "Probably the most dramatic development in ZZ Top recording approaches came about as Eliminator was constructed. What had gone on before evolutionary; this change was revolutionary. ZZ Top got what amounted to a new bandsman (Linden) for the album, unknown to the world at large and at first even to Dusty and Frank."
+++
CNET DOT COM: (question posed to ZZ Top): Sound engineer Linden Hudson was described as a high-tech music teacher on your highly successful "Eliminator" album. How much did the band experiment with electronic instruments prior to that album?
+++
THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE, MARCH 2018: "Eliminator" had a tremendous impact on us and the people who listen to us," says ZZ Top’s bass player. Common band lore points to production engineer Linden Hudson suggesting that 120 beats per minute was the perfect rock tempo, or "the people’s tempo" as it came to be known.
+++
FROM THE BOOK: SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP by David Blayney: (page 227): "…the song LEGS Linden Hudson introduced the pumping synthesizer effect."
+++
(Search Linden Hudson in the various ZZ Top Wikipedia pages which are related to the ELIMINATOR album and you will find bits about Linden. Also the main ZZ Top Wikipedia page mentions Linden. He’s mentioned in at least 7 ZZ Top related Wikipedia pages.)
+++
FROM THE BOOK: SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP By David Blayney: "Linden found himself in the position of being Billy’s (Billy Gibbons, ZZ Top guitarist) closest collaborator on Eliminator. In fact, he wound up spending more time on the album than anybody except Billy. While the two of them spent day after day in the studio, they were mostly alone with the equipment and the ideas."
+++
FROM THE BOOK: BEER DRINKERS & HELL RAISERS: A ZZ TOP GUIDE (By Neil Daniels, released 2014): "Hudson reportedly had a significant role to play during the planning stages of the release (ELIMINATOR)."
+++
FROM THE BOOK: ZZ TOP – BAD AND WORLDWIDE (ROLLING STONE PRESS, WRITTEN BY DEBORAH FROST): "Linden was always doing computer studies. It was something that fascinated him, like studio technology. He thought he might understand the components of popular songs better if he fed certain data into his computer. It might help him understand what hits (song releases) of any given period share. He first found out about speed; all the songs he studied deviated no more than one beat from 120 beats per minute. Billy immediately started to write some songs with 120 beats per minute. Linden helped out with a couple, like UNDER PRESSURE and SHARP DRESSED MAN. Someone had to help Billy out. Dusty and Frank didn’t even like to rehearse much. Their studio absence wasn’t really a problem though. The bass and drum parts were easily played with a synthesizer or Linn drum machine." (end quote)
+++
FROM THE BOOK: "SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP" BY DAVID BLAYNEY: "After his quantitative revelations, Linden informally but instantly became ZZ Top’s rehearsal hall theoretician, producer, and engineer." (end quote)
+++
FROM THE BOOK: "ZZ TOP – BAD AND WORLDWIDE" (ROLLING STONE PRESS, BY DEBORAH FROST): "With the release of their ninth album, ELIMINATOR, in 1983, these hairy, unlikely rock heroes had become a pop phenomenon. This had something to do with the discoveries of a young preproduction engineer (Linden Hudson) whose contributions, like those of many associated with the band over the years, were never acknowledged."
+++
FROM THE BOOK: ​SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP (By DAVID BLAYNEY) : "The integral position Linden occupied in the process of building El​iminator was demonstrated eloquently in the case of song Under Pressure. Billy and Linden, the studio wizards, did the whole song all in one afternoon without either the bass player or drummer even knowing it had been written and recorded on a demo tape. Linden synthesized the bass and drums and helped write the lyrics; Billy did the guitars and vocals."
+++
FROM THE BOOK: "TRES HOMBRES – THE STORY OF ZZ TOP" BY DAVID SINCLAIR (Writer for the Times Of London): "Linden Hudson, the engineer/producer who lived at Beard’s house (ZZ’s drummer) had drawn their attention to the possibilities of the new recording technology and specifically to the charms of the straight drumming pattern, as used on a programmed drum machine. On ELIMINATOR ZZ Top unveiled a simple new musical combination that cracked open a vast worldwide market.
+++
FROM THE BOOK: "SHARP DRESS MEN – ZZ TOP" BY DAVID BLAYNEY: "ELIMINATOR went on to become a multi-platinum album, just as Linden had predicted when he and Billy were setting up the 124-beat tempos and arranging all the material. Rolling Stone eventually picked the album as number 39 out of the top 100 of the 80’s. Linden Hudson in a fair world shoud have had his name all over ELIMINATOR and gotten the just compensation he deserved. Instead he got ostracized."
+++
FROM THE BOOK: ​SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP by DAVID BLAYNEY: "He (Linden) went back with the boys to 1970 when he was working as a radio disc jocky aliased Jack Smack. He was emcee for a show ZZ did around that time, and even sang an encore tune with the band, perhaps the only person ever to have that honor." (side note: this was ZZ Top’s very first show).
+++
FROM THE BOOK: "SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP" BY DAVID BLAYNEY: "Linden remained at Frank’s (ZZ Top drummer) place as ZZ’s live-in engineer throughout the whole period of ELIMINATOR rehearsals, and was like one of the family… as he (Linden) worked at the controls day after day, watching the album (ELIMINATOR) take shape, his hopes for a big step forward in his production career undoubtably soared. ELIMINATOR marked the first time that ZZ Top was able to rehearse an entire album with the recording studio gadgetry that Billy so loved. With Linden Hudson around all the time, it also was the first time the band could write, rehearse, and record with someone who knew the men and the machines. ZZ Top was free to go musically crazy, but also musically crazy like a fox. Linden made that possible too."
+++
FROM THE BOOK "ZZ TOP – BAD AND WORLDWIDE" (ROLLING STONE PRESS, BY DEBORAH FROST, WRITER FOR ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE): "… SHARP DRESSED MAN which employed Hudson’s 120 beat-per-minute theory. The feel, the enthusiasm, the snappy beat and crisp clean sound propelled ELIMINATOR into the ears and hearts of 5 million people who previously could have cared less about the boogie band of RIO GRANDE MUD."
+++
ULTIMATECLASSICROCK DOT COM: "This new melding of styles was encouraged by Hudson, who served as a kind of pre-producer for ​EL LOCO … … Hudson helped construct ZZ Top drummer Frank Beard’s home studio, and had lived with him for a time. That led to these initial sessions, and then a closer collaboration on 1983’s ​ELIMINATOR.
+++
FIREDOGLAKE DOT COM: "I like Billy Gibbons’ guitar tone quite a lot, but I lost all respect for them after reading how badly they fucked over Linden Hudson (the guy who was the brains behind their move to include synthesizers and co-wrote most of their career-defining Eliminator record)."
+++
EMAIL FROM A ZZ TOP FAN TO LINDEN (One Of Many): "I write you today about broken hearts, one is mine and one is for you. I have been a ZZ Top fan since I was 6 years old. I purchased ELIMINATOR vinyl from Caldors in Connecticut with the $20 my grandma gave me for my birthday. I will spare the #1 fan epic saga of tee shirts, harassing Noreen at the fan club via phone weekly for years, over 40 shows attended. Posters, non stop conversation about the time I have spent idolizing this band, but more Billy G, as he has seemed to break free of the Lone Wolf shackles and it became more clear this was his baby. In baseball I was Don Mattingly’s #1 fan, Hershel Walker in football, Billy Gibbons in music. What do these individuals have in common? They were role models. Not a DUI, not a spousal abuse, not a drug overdose, not a cheater. Until I read your web page. I read Blayney’s book around 1992 or so, I was in middle school and I was familiar with your name for a long time. I didn’t realize you suffered so greatly or that your involvement was so significant. It pains me to learn my idol not only cheated but did something so wrong to another being. I now know this is where tall tales and fun loving bullshit and poor morals and ethics are distinguished and where I would no longer consider myself to look up to Billy. I love to joke and I love credit but I have always prided myself on ethics and principles… I hold them dear. I wanted to say, the snippet of UNDER PRESSURE you played sounded very new wave and I may like it more than the finished product. Well that’s all. You have reached ZZ Top’s biggest fan and I can let others know. Bummer. Cheers and good luck. James."​

Posted by lindenhud1 on 2017-09-02 20:14:01

Tagged: , linden hudson , documentary film crew , agave , new mexico , linden holding a camera , desert , film crew , usa , mountains , documentary , video , video_crew , film_production

M45 – Pleiades

M45 - Pleiades

In astronomy, the Pleiades, or Seven Sisters (Messier object 45 or M45), is an open star cluster containing middle-aged hot B-type stars located in the constellation of Taurus. It is among the nearest star clusters to Earth and is the cluster most obvious to the naked eye in the night sky. The name Pleiades comes from Greek mythology; it has several meanings in different cultures and traditions.
The cluster is dominated by hot blue and extremely luminous stars that have formed within the last 100 million years. Dust that forms a faint reflection nebulosity around the brightest stars was thought at first to be left over from the formation of the cluster (hence the alternate name Maia Nebula after the star Maia), but is now known to be an unrelated dust cloud in the interstellar medium that the stars are currently passing through. Computer simulations have shown that the Pleiades was probably formed from a compact configuration that resembled the Orion Nebula.[7] Astronomers estimate that the cluster will survive for about another 250 million years, after which it will disperse due to gravitational interactions with its galactic neighborhood (from Wikipedia).

Photo is 8 15 minute exposures stacked. Taken with Takahashi FSQ-106 (4.1") telescope using a SBIG ST4000XM color camera. The mount is a Software Bisque ME.

Posted by SC_Bob on 2013-01-19 12:51:54

Tagged: , M45 , Pleiades , VRO , Wind Canyon , Silver City , New Mexico

5 photo pano El Morro waterhole

5 photo pano El Morro waterhole

☼ PHOTOGRAPH PARTICULARS ☼

It is difficult to get a good photo (unless you know what you are doing and have the right lens etc.), of both the dark waterhole at the base of the bright while sandstone cliffs and the cliffs and sky above it. I gave it a try with a five shot, to be stitched together pano shot sequence. Not great but at least you can see the whole scene.

This waterhole at the base of these white sandstone cliffs have been both life and life saver to people for thousands of years.

Rain and snow melt feed a small waterhole at the base of a cliff. For thousands of years it was the only reliable water for over 30 miles in any directions. The cliffs served as a landmark making the waterhole easy to locate. The original waterhole has been enlarged a bit over time by those who depended upon it, but it is still dwarfed by the towering cliffs that shade it and keep it from evaporating in the summer heat.

The waterhole is along the natural route between the Acoma and Zuni Pueblos. Anasazi built masonry dwellings and kivas on top the El Morro sandstone mesa and added their petroglyphs to the rock faces of the cliffs near the waterhole. These cliff faces would record the passing of many interesting, famous, and widely varied travelers.

The oldest “non-Native American” inscription was left by Don Juan de Onate in 1605. Lots of the Spanish conquistadores left their message here and “paso por aqui” or “pasamos por aqui” (I or we passed by way of here in Spanish), is a common message carved in the cliffs. Ramon Garcia Jurado carved a message on the cliffs in 1709 just 30 years after the Pueblo Revolt, where the Pueblo people united and drove the Spaniards out of their homeland (temporarily).

Among the Native American bighorn sheep petroglyphs and Spanish “paso por aqui” messages a poet left a poem in 1629 cut in stone. Then came Americans and the U.S. Army. Lt. J.H. Simpson left a crisp inscription here in 1849. Then the somewhat bizarre: in 1859 the U.S. Army experimented with the use of camels for desert travel in the American Southwest.

The camels were bought in Egypt; trained in Texas; and led by Lt. Edward Beale (He was originally in the U.S. Navy!) with a fellow named Breckenridge, in charge of the camels. They stopped by at El Morro twice, both in 1857 and in 1859 when they carved their names in the cliffs.

By the time the civil war began, the U.S. Army gave up the idea of camels and most were sold or turned loose. There are many strange stories of those travelers who ran across “wild camels” in the Southwest in subsequent years, many of whom must have given up whatever brand of whisky they may have been drinking at the time.

The stories with a link to El Morro, go on and on, and make interesting reading. A visit to El Morro brings many of the stories much more to life. It was a good stop and excellent hike. Ice had closed a portion of the loop trail, so Ed and I hiked to the end of the trail and the back tracked up to the top of the mesa to hike the other portion.

☼ ACTIVITIES DAY SEVEN OF TWELVE ☼

This would be an interesting day of travel on this road trip but not a particularly good day for photographs. In fact, there is only one photograph that I took the entire day that I’m proud of. The rest do little more than share a story of road trip travels and preserve good memories.

After a now customary big breakfast at Denny’s, we left Grants, New Mexico for El Morro National Monument. El Morro had perhaps the most interesting history of any place we visited on this road trip. There are few “knock out” photos to be had here but hiking along the inscriptions panel on the face of the cliffs; the water pool that “made” the place; or up across the top of the cliffs where there are kivas and masonry ruins and views for hundreds of miles – – certainly made this a great place to stop and visit.

Leaving El Morro, we drove to the Zuni Pueblo. I got my favorite photograph of the day of a young Zuni girl clutching her precious puppy, she said she had named “angel”. Zuni Pueblo though, is one of two places we visited on this road trip that I would not highly recommend. The pueblo itself is so run down it is a bit depressing, even though all the Zuni people we met were friendly, helpful, and wonderful people.

The women working the official Zuni crafts outlet store will never make a living working on sales commission but in their own unhurried way, they went about life. I bought a jet bear fetish here with an inlaid turquoise rain cloud. A card came with it telling of the Zuni craftsman, who created it. It is something I will long treasure, though a return trip to Zuni Pueblo will never be high on my list. The church at Zuni Pueblo, like most else there is in bad need of some care.

One of the many guide books I had with me said that highway 13 coming in from the Northeast of Canyon de Chelly was scenic, so Ed and I plotted a route to Chinle, Arizona that would take us north up highway 491 from Gallup, New Mexico, then over the mountains on highway 13 to the north edge of Canyon de Chelly (Canyon del Muerto is the north canyon).

The weather was windy and often with lots of clouds on our drive to Canyon de Chelly, but the back roads were interesting to drive. My wife and I had taken our four wheel drive truck with an old Navajo guide up Canyon del Muerto and we had revisited the rim several times. Still it was a place I enjoy and Ed hadn’t been there, so it was a worthwhile place to visit along the way.

We got rooms at Chinle and Ed helped me back up all the photos I had taken thus far on the road trip (LOTS), by unloading them to his computer then saving them on an 8 gb flash drive that I had purchased for the purpose at Moab.

By the way. Ed has taken two photo safaris to Africa in the last few years. His photographs of those trips on his “oldwrangler” Flickr photo site are outstanding. He used an Epson external hard drive and photo viewer “back up” on those trips. He had the Epson along on this trip and I fell in love with it. Probably too pricey for me, but I have looked at the P2000 and P4000 models on the internet, since our return from this road trip, with interest.

Here is the link to Ed’s “oldwrangler” Flickr photos: www.flickr.com/photos/31726639@N04/sets/

☼ 3,875 MILE/12 DAY ~ 4 CORNERS ROAD TRIP OVERVIEW ☼

At the start of year 2011, I made tentative plans to take a two week solo “road trip” through the Four Corners area (The Colorado Plateau), during the last half of March. Then, if my wife could get the time needed off from her part time job, I also planned a “road trip” vacation to the Southwest, in April with her.

When I put the plan together for the March trip, I decided to see if an old friend of mine, Ed (Flickr’s: OldWrangler), might be interested in joining me. I volunteered to take my old four wheel drive pickup truck and split the gasoline expense with him. We would each get an inexpensive motel room on the road to serve as “base camps” to hike, photograph, and explore back roads in the Four Corners area.

Not only did Ed accept but he also proposed that we take his brand new 4-door Jeep Wrangler instead of my old pickup truck. That didn’t take any thinking on my part. I LOVE Jeeps and Ed and I have always got along well (decades ago, I worked for him and we had taken a fun road trip together back in 2008, along with my friend John and my youngest son). The deal was sealed.

We left my house in Central Washington early Monday morning on the 14th of March. We returned 12 days and 3,875 miles later on Friday evening March 25th. We spent a lot of time drinking Diet Pepsi from the ice chest and keeping the hits of the 60s (and occasionally the 70s), cranked up high on the Jeep’s Sirius satellite radio sound system. Sing along music! “Road trip” tunes.

Weather often dictated changes to our proposed route and activities. We stayed flexible, and in the end we visited the large majority of places we had hoped to see, when the road trip began. We had sun and clear skies, snow, dust storms, and high winds at times. Ed’s Jeep had an outside temperature display. We drove in everything from18 degree weather to temperatures in the 70s in New Mexico.

Here in outline form are the places we saw, hiked, photographed, and visited during the 12 day road trip:

Mon 3.14.11
* Interstate travel from my house in Central Washington to Lehi, Utah

Tue 3.15.11
* Scenic back roads ( Hwys: 6, 89, & 31) from Spanish Fork to Huntington, Utah
* Dirt road travel to “The Wedge” and down Buckhorn Wash to I-70.
* Side trip to the Head of Sinbad petroglyph and then on to Moab.

Wed 3.16.11
* Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands NP (Mesa Arch & Upheaval Dome)
* The Shafer “Jeep” Trail down to the White Rim road and back to Moab.
* Hike to Delicate Arch & visit Windows section in Arches NP.

Thu 3.17.11
* Newspaper Rock in the Needles district of Canyonlands NP
* Attempt back road travel thru the Abajo Mountains to Monticello
* Edge of the Cedars museum in Blanding, Utah
* Hovenweep – Square tower group loop hike
* Shiprock and then on to Farmington, New Mexico.

Fri 3.18.11
* Bisti Badlands hike (My favorite hike on the trip)
* Chaco Canyon (Chetro Ketl and Pueblo Bonito) visit
* Scenic highway 96 and then down into Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Sat 3.19.11
* Santo Domingo Pueblo (turquoise & pueblo oven bread)
* Cerrillos and the Turquoise Trail (highway 14)
* Acoma Sky City pueblo
* El Morro national monument hike
* Zuni pueblo then on to Grants, New Mexico

Sun 3.20.11
* Scenic highway 34 through Crystal to Canyon de Chelly national monument
* Canyon del Muerto rim of Canyon de Chelly. Stay in Chinle, Arizona

Mon 3.21.11
* White house ruin overlook at Canyon de Chelly
* Drive through a major dust storm getting pelted with flying tumbleweeds
* Highway 264 across Hopi Mesas to Tuba City then to Page, Arizona

Tue 3.22.11
* Try “walk in” lottery for “The Wave” (failed…….again)
* Visit Upper antelope slot canyon
* Big Bend of Colorado River

Wed 3.23.11
* The Toadstools hike
* Cottonwood wash/Paria River dirt road to Grosvenor (Butler) arch
* Kodachrome Basin (hike “Parade” and box canyons loop)
* Bryce Canyon National Park then on to Escalante, Utah

Thu 3.24.11
* Cancelled all our dirt road travel when we woke up to snow in Escalante
* Goblin Valley State Park then on to Ogden, Utah

Fri 3.15.11
* Interstate (through some serious snow in Northern Utah) back home.

Part of the fun of any “road trip” is the many interesting and wonderful people you meet along the way. We met more than our share but a few honorable mentions:

* Fred (Sawtooth photo) joined us for a Cracker Barrel lunch in Boise
* Al Hamann (a colorful character to say the least) CEO of Sun’s Inc. Passive Solar Products at Cindi’s Café in Huntington, Utah
* 15 year old “life is good” waitress at the Moab, Utah Pizza Hut
* Ana and daughter Tina ~ Santo Domingo Pueblo (turquoise & bread)
* Patricia (owner) at the Cerrillos, New Mexico turquoise mine museum
* “Love’s his job” and knowledgeable ranger at El Morro national monument
* Acoma Indian waitress at Grants, New Mexico
* Young Zuni girl with her special puppy “Angel”

And I just as well get the big confession out of the way. I gained back 6 pounds on this 12 day trip (and it is no mystery how that happened), of the hard lost pounds I from the preceding two and half months (“New Year’s resolution”). We ate a LOT at a LOT of family cafés and had many Denny’s specials. We found a few places to eat that were just flat out fantastic:

1. Homestead Steak House in Blanding, Utah (Order the French dip sandwich, which is served on fresh doughy bread, lots of beef, onions, green pepper, and cheese). Oh my!

2. The Family Hogan in Tuba City, Arizona. They were out of the Navajo mutton stew so I had the open face hot beef sandwich and a pizza sized Navajo fry bread with butter, sugar and cinnamon on the side (a vanilla milk shake too). I enjoyed each and every bite. The food was excellent and portions – generous.

3. Escalante Outfitters café (Pesto chicken pizza). Always good food can be found here and friendly people working there.

* Skip Chu Chu’s restaurant outside the Zuni pueblo. It was worth the view and a try, but the food was just not up to “road trip” standards.

I hope you enjoy some of the selected photographs I post from this road trip.

Oldmantravels 3.27.2011

Posted by oldmantravels on 2011-04-04 18:03:32

Tagged: , El Morro Naitonal Monument , New Mexico , Historic routes and trails , Historic inscriptions , four corners road trip , el morro national monument , historic trails routes , beale’s camel trail , old spanish trail route , water in the desert , oasis , cliff dwelings , hiking new mexico , square kiva , round kiva , anasazi ruins , ancient puebloan ruins , historic trails america , new mexico highway 53 , el morro new mexico , sandstone cliffs

Path to famous waterhole

Path to famous waterhole

☼ PHOTOGRAPH PARTICULARS ☼

The visitors’s center and the hiking paths at El Morro are really well done. The rangers stationed here were among some of the most knowledgeable and helpful, we encountered on the entire road trip.

One ranger in particular was quick witted and seemed to enjoy a little verbal sparring. When I returned from one hike I asked him "Can you tell me what those small round metal objects are that are spaced about 12 feet apart at the base of the inscription cliffs are?".

He smiled and responded "Yes".

A long pause (while he smiled at me and waited)..

Then I asked him what they were, not are you able to tell me what they are. He enjoyed that. The round metal spike heads, he told me, were driven into the face of the cliffs by early scientists "mapping" the inscriptions on the cliffs. Each round metal badge had a number to cross reference with the inscriptions.

He was full of interesting information and clearly enjoyed his job. Fun.

Rain and snow melt feed a small waterhole at the base of a cliff. For thousands of years it was the only reliable water for over 30 miles in any directions. The cliffs served as a landmark making the waterhole easy to locate. The original waterhole has been enlarged a bit over time by those who depended upon it, but it is still dwarfed by the towering cliffs that shade it and keep it from evaporating in the summer heat.

The waterhole is along the natural route between the Acoma and Zuni Pueblos. Anasazi built masonry dwellings and kivas on top the El Morro sandstone mesa and added their petroglyphs to the rock faces of the cliffs near the waterhole. These cliff faces would record the passing of many interesting, famous, and widely varied travelers.

The oldest “non-Native American” inscription was left by Don Juan de Onate in 1605. Lots of the Spanish conquistadores left their message here and “paso por aqui” or “pasamos por aqui” (I or we passed by way of here in Spanish), is a common message carved in the cliffs. Ramon Garcia Jurado carved a message on the cliffs in 1709 just 30 years after the Pueblo Revolt, where the Pueblo people united and drove the Spaniards out of their homeland (temporarily).

Among the Native American bighorn sheep petroglyphs and Spanish “paso por aqui” messages a poet left a poem in 1629 cut in stone. Then came Americans and the U.S. Army. Lt. J.H. Simpson left a crisp inscription here in 1849. Then the somewhat bizarre: in 1859 the U.S. Army experimented with the use of camels for desert travel in the American Southwest.

The camels were bought in Egypt; trained in Texas; and led by Lt. Edward Beale (He was originally in the U.S. Navy!) with a fellow named Breckenridge, in charge of the camels. They stopped by at El Morro twice, both in 1857 and in 1859 when they carved their names in the cliffs.

By the time the civil war began, the U.S. Army gave up the idea of camels and most were sold or turned loose. There are many strange stories of those travelers who ran across “wild camels” in the Southwest in subsequent years, many of whom must have given up whatever brand of whisky they may have been drinking at the time.

The stories with a link to El Morro, go on and on, and make interesting reading. A visit to El Morro brings many of the stories much more to life. It was a good stop and excellent hike. Ice had closed a portion of the loop trail, so Ed and I hiked to the end of the trail and the back tracked up to the top of the mesa to hike the other portion.

☼ ACTIVITIES DAY SEVEN OF TWELVE ☼

This would be an interesting day of travel on this road trip but not a particularly good day for photographs. In fact, there is only one photograph that I took the entire day that I’m proud of. The rest do little more than share a story of road trip travels and preserve good memories.

After a now customary big breakfast at Denny’s, we left Grants, New Mexico for El Morro National Monument. El Morro had perhaps the most interesting history of any place we visited on this road trip. There are few “knock out” photos to be had here but hiking along the inscriptions panel on the face of the cliffs; the water pool that “made” the place; or up across the top of the cliffs where there are kivas and masonry ruins and views for hundreds of miles – – certainly made this a great place to stop and visit.

Leaving El Morro, we drove to the Zuni Pueblo. I got my favorite photograph of the day of a young Zuni girl clutching her precious puppy, she said she had named “angel”. Zuni Pueblo though, is one of two places we visited on this road trip that I would not highly recommend. The pueblo itself is so run down it is a bit depressing, even though all the Zuni people we met were friendly, helpful, and wonderful people.

The women working the official Zuni crafts outlet store will never make a living working on sales commission but in their own unhurried way, they went about life. I bought a jet bear fetish here with an inlaid turquoise rain cloud. A card came with it telling of the Zuni craftsman, who created it. It is something I will long treasure, though a return trip to Zuni Pueblo will never be high on my list. The church at Zuni Pueblo, like most else there is in bad need of some care.

One of the many guide books I had with me said that highway 13 coming in from the Northeast of Canyon de Chelly was scenic, so Ed and I plotted a route to Chinle, Arizona that would take us north up highway 491 from Gallup, New Mexico, then over the mountains on highway 13 to the north edge of Canyon de Chelly (Canyon del Muerto is the north canyon).

The weather was windy and often with lots of clouds on our drive to Canyon de Chelly, but the back roads were interesting to drive. My wife and I had taken our four wheel drive truck with an old Navajo guide up Canyon del Muerto and we had revisited the rim several times. Still it was a place I enjoy and Ed hadn’t been there, so it was a worthwhile place to visit along the way.

We got rooms at Chinle and Ed helped me back up all the photos I had taken thus far on the road trip (LOTS), by unloading them to his computer then saving them on an 8 gb flash drive that I had purchased for the purpose at Moab.

By the way. Ed has taken two photo safaris to Africa in the last few years. His photographs of those trips on his “oldwrangler” Flickr photo site are outstanding. He used an Epson external hard drive and photo viewer “back up” on those trips. He had the Epson along on this trip and I fell in love with it. Probably too pricey for me, but I have looked at the P2000 and P4000 models on the internet, since our return from this road trip, with interest.

Here is the link to Ed’s “oldwrangler” Flickr photos: www.flickr.com/photos/31726639@N04/sets/

☼ 3,875 MILE/12 DAY ~ 4 CORNERS ROAD TRIP OVERVIEW ☼

At the start of year 2011, I made tentative plans to take a two week solo “road trip” through the Four Corners area (The Colorado Plateau), during the last half of March. Then, if my wife could get the time needed off from her part time job, I also planned a “road trip” vacation to the Southwest, in April with her.

When I put the plan together for the March trip, I decided to see if an old friend of mine, Ed (Flickr’s: OldWrangler), might be interested in joining me. I volunteered to take my old four wheel drive pickup truck and split the gasoline expense with him. We would each get an inexpensive motel room on the road to serve as “base camps” to hike, photograph, and explore back roads in the Four Corners area.

Not only did Ed accept but he also proposed that we take his brand new 4-door Jeep Wrangler instead of my old pickup truck. That didn’t take any thinking on my part. I LOVE Jeeps and Ed and I have always got along well (decades ago, I worked for him and we had taken a fun road trip together back in 2008, along with my friend John and my youngest son). The deal was sealed.

We left my house in Central Washington early Monday morning on the 14th of March. We returned 12 days and 3,875 miles later on Friday evening March 25th. We spent a lot of time drinking Diet Pepsi from the ice chest and keeping the hits of the 60s (and occasionally the 70s), cranked up high on the Jeep’s Sirius satellite radio sound system. Sing along music! “Road trip” tunes.

Weather often dictated changes to our proposed route and activities. We stayed flexible, and in the end we visited the large majority of places we had hoped to see, when the road trip began. We had sun and clear skies, snow, dust storms, and high winds at times. Ed’s Jeep had an outside temperature display. We drove in everything from18 degree weather to temperatures in the 70s in New Mexico.

Here in outline form are the places we saw, hiked, photographed, and visited during the 12 day road trip:

Mon 3.14.11
* Interstate travel from my house in Central Washington to Lehi, Utah

Tue 3.15.11
* Scenic back roads ( Hwys: 6, 89, & 31) from Spanish Fork to Huntington, Utah
* Dirt road travel to “The Wedge” and down Buckhorn Wash to I-70.
* Side trip to the Head of Sinbad petroglyph and then on to Moab.

Wed 3.16.11
* Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands NP (Mesa Arch & Upheaval Dome)
* The Shafer “Jeep” Trail down to the White Rim road and back to Moab.
* Hike to Delicate Arch & visit Windows section in Arches NP.

Thu 3.17.11
* Newspaper Rock in the Needles district of Canyonlands NP
* Attempt back road travel thru the Abajo Mountains to Monticello
* Edge of the Cedars museum in Blanding, Utah
* Hovenweep – Square tower group loop hike
* Shiprock and then on to Farmington, New Mexico.

Fri 3.18.11
* Bisti Badlands hike (My favorite hike on the trip)
* Chaco Canyon (Chetro Ketl and Pueblo Bonito) visit
* Scenic highway 96 and then down into Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Sat 3.19.11
* Santo Domingo Pueblo (turquoise & pueblo oven bread)
* Cerrillos and the Turquoise Trail (highway 14)
* Acoma Sky City pueblo
* El Morro national monument hike
* Zuni pueblo then on to Grants, New Mexico

Sun 3.20.11
* Scenic highway 34 through Crystal to Canyon de Chelly national monument
* Canyon del Muerto rim of Canyon de Chelly. Stay in Chinle, Arizona

Mon 3.21.11
* White house ruin overlook at Canyon de Chelly
* Drive through a major dust storm getting pelted with flying tumbleweeds
* Highway 264 across Hopi Mesas to Tuba City then to Page, Arizona

Tue 3.22.11
* Try “walk in” lottery for “The Wave” (failed…….again)
* Visit Upper antelope slot canyon
* Big Bend of Colorado River

Wed 3.23.11
* The Toadstools hike
* Cottonwood wash/Paria River dirt road to Grosvenor (Butler) arch
* Kodachrome Basin (hike “Parade” and box canyons loop)
* Bryce Canyon National Park then on to Escalante, Utah

Thu 3.24.11
* Cancelled all our dirt road travel when we woke up to snow in Escalante
* Goblin Valley State Park then on to Ogden, Utah

Fri 3.15.11
* Interstate (through some serious snow in Northern Utah) back home.

Part of the fun of any “road trip” is the many interesting and wonderful people you meet along the way. We met more than our share but a few honorable mentions:

* Fred (Sawtooth photo) joined us for a Cracker Barrel lunch in Boise
* Al Hamann (a colorful character to say the least) CEO of Sun’s Inc. Passive Solar Products at Cindi’s Café in Huntington, Utah
* 15 year old “life is good” waitress at the Moab, Utah Pizza Hut
* Ana and daughter Tina ~ Santo Domingo Pueblo (turquoise & bread)
* Patricia (owner) at the Cerrillos, New Mexico turquoise mine museum
* “Love’s his job” and knowledgeable ranger at El Morro national monument
* Acoma Indian waitress at Grants, New Mexico
* Young Zuni girl with her special puppy “Angel”

And I just as well get the big confession out of the way. I gained back 6 pounds on this 12 day trip (and it is no mystery how that happened), of the hard lost pounds I from the preceding two and half months (“New Year’s resolution”). We ate a LOT at a LOT of family cafés and had many Denny’s specials. We found a few places to eat that were just flat out fantastic:

1. Homestead Steak House in Blanding, Utah (Order the French dip sandwich, which is served on fresh doughy bread, lots of beef, onions, green pepper, and cheese). Oh my!

2. The Family Hogan in Tuba City, Arizona. They were out of the Navajo mutton stew so I had the open face hot beef sandwich and a pizza sized Navajo fry bread with butter, sugar and cinnamon on the side (a vanilla milk shake too). I enjoyed each and every bite. The food was excellent and portions – generous.

3. Escalante Outfitters café (Pesto chicken pizza). Always good food can be found here and friendly people working there.

* Skip Chu Chu’s restaurant outside the Zuni pueblo. It was worth the view and a try, but the food was just not up to “road trip” standards.

I hope you enjoy some of the selected photographs I post from this road trip.

Oldmantravels 3.27.2011

Posted by oldmantravels on 2011-04-04 17:54:12

Tagged: , El Morro Naitonal Monument , New Mexico , Historic routes and trails , Historic inscriptions , four corners road trip , el morro national monument , historic trails routes , beale’s camel trail , old spanish trail route , water in the desert , oasis , cliff dwelings , hiking new mexico , square kiva , round kiva , anasazi ruins , ancient puebloan ruins , historic trails america , new mexico highway 53 , el morro new mexico , sandstone cliffs

A very important waterhole

A very important waterhole

☼ PHOTOGRAPH PARTICULARS ☼

This is the waterhole that must have met so much to so many people. There isn’t much of a watershed above it, but all the rain and snow melt water that collect here is heavily shaded and protected from evaporation by the high sandstone cliffs surrounding it.

Rain and snow melt feed a small waterhole at the base of a cliff. For thousands of years it was the only reliable water for over 30 miles in any directions. The cliffs served as a landmark making the waterhole easy to locate. The original waterhole has been enlarged a bit over time by those who depended upon it, but it is still dwarfed by the towering cliffs that shade it and keep it from evaporating in the summer heat.

The waterhole is along the natural route between the Acoma and Zuni Pueblos. Anasazi built masonry dwellings and kivas on top the El Morro sandstone mesa and added their petroglyphs to the rock faces of the cliffs near the waterhole. These cliff faces would record the passing of many interesting, famous, and widely varied travelers.

The oldest “non-Native American” inscription was left by Don Juan de Onate in 1605. Lots of the Spanish conquistadores left their message here and “paso por aqui” or “pasamos por aqui” (I or we passed by way of here in Spanish), is a common message carved in the cliffs. Ramon Garcia Jurado carved a message on the cliffs in 1709 just 30 years after the Pueblo Revolt, where the Pueblo people united and drove the Spaniards out of their homeland (temporarily).

Among the Native American bighorn sheep petroglyphs and Spanish “paso por aqui” messages a poet left a poem in 1629 cut in stone. Then came Americans and the U.S. Army. Lt. J.H. Simpson left a crisp inscription here in 1849. Then the somewhat bizarre: in 1859 the U.S. Army experimented with the use of camels for desert travel in the American Southwest.

The camels were bought in Egypt; trained in Texas; and led by Lt. Edward Beale (He was originally in the U.S. Navy!) with a fellow named Breckenridge, in charge of the camels. They stopped by at El Morro twice, both in 1857 and in 1859 when they carved their names in the cliffs.

By the time the civil war began, the U.S. Army gave up the idea of camels and most were sold or turned loose. There are many strange stories of those travelers who ran across “wild camels” in the Southwest in subsequent years, many of whom must have given up whatever brand of whisky they may have been drinking at the time.

The stories with a link to El Morro, go on and on, and make interesting reading. A visit to El Morro brings many of the stories much more to life. It was a good stop and excellent hike. Ice had closed a portion of the loop trail, so Ed and I hiked to the end of the trail and the back tracked up to the top of the mesa to hike the other portion.

☼ ACTIVITIES DAY SEVEN OF TWELVE ☼

This would be an interesting day of travel on this road trip but not a particularly good day for photographs. In fact, there is only one photograph that I took the entire day that I’m proud of. The rest do little more than share a story of road trip travels and preserve good memories.

After a now customary big breakfast at Denny’s, we left Grants, New Mexico for El Morro National Monument. El Morro had perhaps the most interesting history of any place we visited on this road trip. There are few “knock out” photos to be had here but hiking along the inscriptions panel on the face of the cliffs; the water pool that “made” the place; or up across the top of the cliffs where there are kivas and masonry ruins and views for hundreds of miles – – certainly made this a great place to stop and visit.

Leaving El Morro, we drove to the Zuni Pueblo. I got my favorite photograph of the day of a young Zuni girl clutching her precious puppy, she said she had named “angel”. Zuni Pueblo though, is one of two places we visited on this road trip that I would not highly recommend. The pueblo itself is so run down it is a bit depressing, even though all the Zuni people we met were friendly, helpful, and wonderful people.

The women working the official Zuni crafts outlet store will never make a living working on sales commission but in their own unhurried way, they went about life. I bought a jet bear fetish here with an inlaid turquoise rain cloud. A card came with it telling of the Zuni craftsman, who created it. It is something I will long treasure, though a return trip to Zuni Pueblo will never be high on my list. The church at Zuni Pueblo, like most else there is in bad need of some care.

One of the many guide books I had with me said that highway 13 coming in from the Northeast of Canyon de Chelly was scenic, so Ed and I plotted a route to Chinle, Arizona that would take us north up highway 491 from Gallup, New Mexico, then over the mountains on highway 13 to the north edge of Canyon de Chelly (Canyon del Muerto is the north canyon).

The weather was windy and often with lots of clouds on our drive to Canyon de Chelly, but the back roads were interesting to drive. My wife and I had taken our four wheel drive truck with an old Navajo guide up Canyon del Muerto and we had revisited the rim several times. Still it was a place I enjoy and Ed hadn’t been there, so it was a worthwhile place to visit along the way.

We got rooms at Chinle and Ed helped me back up all the photos I had taken thus far on the road trip (LOTS), by unloading them to his computer then saving them on an 8 gb flash drive that I had purchased for the purpose at Moab.

By the way. Ed has taken two photo safaris to Africa in the last few years. His photographs of those trips on his “oldwrangler” Flickr photo site are outstanding. He used an Epson external hard drive and photo viewer “back up” on those trips. He had the Epson along on this trip and I fell in love with it. Probably too pricey for me, but I have looked at the P2000 and P4000 models on the internet, since our return from this road trip, with interest.

Here is the link to Ed’s “oldwrangler” Flickr photos: www.flickr.com/photos/31726639@N04/sets/

☼ 3,875 MILE/12 DAY ~ 4 CORNERS ROAD TRIP OVERVIEW ☼

At the start of year 2011, I made tentative plans to take a two week solo “road trip” through the Four Corners area (The Colorado Plateau), during the last half of March. Then, if my wife could get the time needed off from her part time job, I also planned a “road trip” vacation to the Southwest, in April with her.

When I put the plan together for the March trip, I decided to see if an old friend of mine, Ed (Flickr’s: OldWrangler), might be interested in joining me. I volunteered to take my old four wheel drive pickup truck and split the gasoline expense with him. We would each get an inexpensive motel room on the road to serve as “base camps” to hike, photograph, and explore back roads in the Four Corners area.

Not only did Ed accept but he also proposed that we take his brand new 4-door Jeep Wrangler instead of my old pickup truck. That didn’t take any thinking on my part. I LOVE Jeeps and Ed and I have always got along well (decades ago, I worked for him and we had taken a fun road trip together back in 2008, along with my friend John and my youngest son). The deal was sealed.

We left my house in Central Washington early Monday morning on the 14th of March. We returned 12 days and 3,875 miles later on Friday evening March 25th. We spent a lot of time drinking Diet Pepsi from the ice chest and keeping the hits of the 60s (and occasionally the 70s), cranked up high on the Jeep’s Sirius satellite radio sound system. Sing along music! “Road trip” tunes.

Weather often dictated changes to our proposed route and activities. We stayed flexible, and in the end we visited the large majority of places we had hoped to see, when the road trip began. We had sun and clear skies, snow, dust storms, and high winds at times. Ed’s Jeep had an outside temperature display. We drove in everything from18 degree weather to temperatures in the 70s in New Mexico.

Here in outline form are the places we saw, hiked, photographed, and visited during the 12 day road trip:

Mon 3.14.11
* Interstate travel from my house in Central Washington to Lehi, Utah

Tue 3.15.11
* Scenic back roads ( Hwys: 6, 89, & 31) from Spanish Fork to Huntington, Utah
* Dirt road travel to “The Wedge” and down Buckhorn Wash to I-70.
* Side trip to the Head of Sinbad petroglyph and then on to Moab.

Wed 3.16.11
* Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands NP (Mesa Arch & Upheaval Dome)
* The Shafer “Jeep” Trail down to the White Rim road and back to Moab.
* Hike to Delicate Arch & visit Windows section in Arches NP.

Thu 3.17.11
* Newspaper Rock in the Needles district of Canyonlands NP
* Attempt back road travel thru the Abajo Mountains to Monticello
* Edge of the Cedars museum in Blanding, Utah
* Hovenweep – Square tower group loop hike
* Shiprock and then on to Farmington, New Mexico.

Fri 3.18.11
* Bisti Badlands hike (My favorite hike on the trip)
* Chaco Canyon (Chetro Ketl and Pueblo Bonito) visit
* Scenic highway 96 and then down into Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Sat 3.19.11
* Santo Domingo Pueblo (turquoise & pueblo oven bread)
* Cerrillos and the Turquoise Trail (highway 14)
* Acoma Sky City pueblo
* El Morro national monument hike
* Zuni pueblo then on to Grants, New Mexico

Sun 3.20.11
* Scenic highway 34 through Crystal to Canyon de Chelly national monument
* Canyon del Muerto rim of Canyon de Chelly. Stay in Chinle, Arizona

Mon 3.21.11
* White house ruin overlook at Canyon de Chelly
* Drive through a major dust storm getting pelted with flying tumbleweeds
* Highway 264 across Hopi Mesas to Tuba City then to Page, Arizona

Tue 3.22.11
* Try “walk in” lottery for “The Wave” (failed…….again)
* Visit Upper antelope slot canyon
* Big Bend of Colorado River

Wed 3.23.11
* The Toadstools hike
* Cottonwood wash/Paria River dirt road to Grosvenor (Butler) arch
* Kodachrome Basin (hike “Parade” and box canyons loop)
* Bryce Canyon National Park then on to Escalante, Utah

Thu 3.24.11
* Cancelled all our dirt road travel when we woke up to snow in Escalante
* Goblin Valley State Park then on to Ogden, Utah

Fri 3.15.11
* Interstate (through some serious snow in Northern Utah) back home.

Part of the fun of any “road trip” is the many interesting and wonderful people you meet along the way. We met more than our share but a few honorable mentions:

* Fred (Sawtooth photo) joined us for a Cracker Barrel lunch in Boise
* Al Hamann (a colorful character to say the least) CEO of Sun’s Inc. Passive Solar Products at Cindi’s Café in Huntington, Utah
* 15 year old “life is good” waitress at the Moab, Utah Pizza Hut
* Ana and daughter Tina ~ Santo Domingo Pueblo (turquoise & bread)
* Patricia (owner) at the Cerrillos, New Mexico turquoise mine museum
* “Love’s his job” and knowledgeable ranger at El Morro national monument
* Acoma Indian waitress at Grants, New Mexico
* Young Zuni girl with her special puppy “Angel”

And I just as well get the big confession out of the way. I gained back 6 pounds on this 12 day trip (and it is no mystery how that happened), of the hard lost pounds I from the preceding two and half months (“New Year’s resolution”). We ate a LOT at a LOT of family cafés and had many Denny’s specials. We found a few places to eat that were just flat out fantastic:

1. Homestead Steak House in Blanding, Utah (Order the French dip sandwich, which is served on fresh doughy bread, lots of beef, onions, green pepper, and cheese). Oh my!

2. The Family Hogan in Tuba City, Arizona. They were out of the Navajo mutton stew so I had the open face hot beef sandwich and a pizza sized Navajo fry bread with butter, sugar and cinnamon on the side (a vanilla milk shake too). I enjoyed each and every bite. The food was excellent and portions – generous.

3. Escalante Outfitters café (Pesto chicken pizza). Always good food can be found here and friendly people working there.

* Skip Chu Chu’s restaurant outside the Zuni pueblo. It was worth the view and a try, but the food was just not up to “road trip” standards.

I hope you enjoy some of the selected photographs I post from this road trip.

Oldmantravels 3.27.2011

Posted by oldmantravels on 2011-04-04 18:41:22

Tagged: , New Mexico , El Morro National Monument , historic trails and routes , four corners road trip , historic trails routes , beale’s camel trail , historic inscriptions , old spanish trail route , water in the desert , oasis , cliff dwelings , hiking new mexico , square kiva , round kiva , anasazi ruins , ancient puebloan ruins , historic trails america , new mexico highway 53 , el morro new mexico , sandstone cliffs

Ed above carved steps El Morro

Ed above carved steps El Morro

☼ PHOTOGRAPH PARTICULARS ☼

The trail along the ridge top on top of El Morro is well marked and aided with carved sandstone steps. Ed taking a photo of the stairs from above, while I do the same from below.

Rain and snow melt feed a small waterhole at the base of a cliff. For thousands of years it was the only reliable water for over 30 miles in any directions. The cliffs served as a landmark making the waterhole easy to locate. The original waterhole has been enlarged a bit over time by those who depended upon it, but it is still dwarfed by the towering cliffs that shade it and keep it from evaporating in the summer heat.

The waterhole is along the natural route between the Acoma and Zuni Pueblos. Anasazi built masonry dwellings and kivas on top the El Morro sandstone mesa and added their petroglyphs to the rock faces of the cliffs near the waterhole. These cliff faces would record the passing of many interesting, famous, and widely varied travelers.

The oldest “non-Native American” inscription was left by Don Juan de Onate in 1605. Lots of the Spanish conquistadores left their message here and “paso por aqui” or “pasamos por aqui” (I or we passed by way of here in Spanish), is a common message carved in the cliffs. Ramon Garcia Jurado carved a message on the cliffs in 1709 just 30 years after the Pueblo Revolt, where the Pueblo people united and drove the Spaniards out of their homeland (temporarily).

Among the Native American bighorn sheep petroglyphs and Spanish “paso por aqui” messages a poet left a poem in 1629 cut in stone. Then came Americans and the U.S. Army. Lt. J.H. Simpson left a crisp inscription here in 1849. Then the somewhat bizarre: in 1859 the U.S. Army experimented with the use of camels for desert travel in the American Southwest.

The camels were bought in Egypt; trained in Texas; and led by Lt. Edward Beale (He was originally in the U.S. Navy!) with a fellow named Breckenridge, in charge of the camels. They stopped by at El Morro twice, both in 1857 and in 1859 when they carved their names in the cliffs.

By the time the civil war began, the U.S. Army gave up the idea of camels and most were sold or turned loose. There are many strange stories of those travelers who ran across “wild camels” in the Southwest in subsequent years, many of whom must have given up whatever brand of whisky they may have been drinking at the time.

The stories with a link to El Morro, go on and on, and make interesting reading. A visit to El Morro brings many of the stories much more to life. It was a good stop and excellent hike. Ice had closed a portion of the loop trail, so Ed and I hiked to the end of the trail and the back tracked up to the top of the mesa to hike the other portion.

☼ ACTIVITIES DAY SEVEN OF TWELVE ☼

This would be an interesting day of travel on this road trip but not a particularly good day for photographs. In fact, there is only one photograph that I took the entire day that I’m proud of. The rest do little more than share a story of road trip travels and preserve good memories.

After a now customary big breakfast at Denny’s, we left Grants, New Mexico for El Morro National Monument. El Morro had perhaps the most interesting history of any place we visited on this road trip. There are few “knock out” photos to be had here but hiking along the inscriptions panel on the face of the cliffs; the water pool that “made” the place; or up across the top of the cliffs where there are kivas and masonry ruins and views for hundreds of miles – – certainly made this a great place to stop and visit.

Leaving El Morro, we drove to the Zuni Pueblo. I got my favorite photograph of the day of a young Zuni girl clutching her precious puppy, she said she had named “angel”. Zuni Pueblo though, is one of two places we visited on this road trip that I would not highly recommend. The pueblo itself is so run down it is a bit depressing, even though all the Zuni people we met were friendly, helpful, and wonderful people.

The women working the official Zuni crafts outlet store will never make a living working on sales commission but in their own unhurried way, they went about life. I bought a jet bear fetish here with an inlaid turquoise rain cloud. A card came with it telling of the Zuni craftsman, who created it. It is something I will long treasure, though a return trip to Zuni Pueblo will never be high on my list. The church at Zuni Pueblo, like most else there is in bad need of some care.

One of the many guide books I had with me said that highway 13 coming in from the Northeast of Canyon de Chelly was scenic, so Ed and I plotted a route to Chinle, Arizona that would take us north up highway 491 from Gallup, New Mexico, then over the mountains on highway 13 to the north edge of Canyon de Chelly (Canyon del Muerto is the north canyon).

The weather was windy and often with lots of clouds on our drive to Canyon de Chelly, but the back roads were interesting to drive. My wife and I had taken our four wheel drive truck with an old Navajo guide up Canyon del Muerto and we had revisited the rim several times. Still it was a place I enjoy and Ed hadn’t been there, so it was a worthwhile place to visit along the way.

We got rooms at Chinle and Ed helped me back up all the photos I had taken thus far on the road trip (LOTS), by unloading them to his computer then saving them on an 8 gb flash drive that I had purchased for the purpose at Moab.

By the way. Ed has taken two photo safaris to Africa in the last few years. His photographs of those trips on his “oldwrangler” Flickr photo site are outstanding. He used an Epson external hard drive and photo viewer “back up” on those trips. He had the Epson along on this trip and I fell in love with it. Probably too pricey for me, but I have looked at the P2000 and P4000 models on the internet, since our return from this road trip, with interest.

Here is the link to Ed’s “oldwrangler” Flickr photos: www.flickr.com/photos/31726639@N04/sets/

☼ 3,875 MILE/12 DAY ~ 4 CORNERS ROAD TRIP OVERVIEW ☼

At the start of year 2011, I made tentative plans to take a two week solo “road trip” through the Four Corners area (The Colorado Plateau), during the last half of March. Then, if my wife could get the time needed off from her part time job, I also planned a “road trip” vacation to the Southwest, in April with her.

When I put the plan together for the March trip, I decided to see if an old friend of mine, Ed (Flickr’s: OldWrangler), might be interested in joining me. I volunteered to take my old four wheel drive pickup truck and split the gasoline expense with him. We would each get an inexpensive motel room on the road to serve as “base camps” to hike, photograph, and explore back roads in the Four Corners area.

Not only did Ed accept but he also proposed that we take his brand new 4-door Jeep Wrangler instead of my old pickup truck. That didn’t take any thinking on my part. I LOVE Jeeps and Ed and I have always got along well (decades ago, I worked for him and we had taken a fun road trip together back in 2008, along with my friend John and my youngest son). The deal was sealed.

We left my house in Central Washington early Monday morning on the 14th of March. We returned 12 days and 3,875 miles later on Friday evening March 25th. We spent a lot of time drinking Diet Pepsi from the ice chest and keeping the hits of the 60s (and occasionally the 70s), cranked up high on the Jeep’s Sirius satellite radio sound system. Sing along music! “Road trip” tunes.

Weather often dictated changes to our proposed route and activities. We stayed flexible, and in the end we visited the large majority of places we had hoped to see, when the road trip began. We had sun and clear skies, snow, dust storms, and high winds at times. Ed’s Jeep had an outside temperature display. We drove in everything from18 degree weather to temperatures in the 70s in New Mexico.

Here in outline form are the places we saw, hiked, photographed, and visited during the 12 day road trip:

Mon 3.14.11
* Interstate travel from my house in Central Washington to Lehi, Utah

Tue 3.15.11
* Scenic back roads ( Hwys: 6, 89, & 31) from Spanish Fork to Huntington, Utah
* Dirt road travel to “The Wedge” and down Buckhorn Wash to I-70.
* Side trip to the Head of Sinbad petroglyph and then on to Moab.

Wed 3.16.11
* Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands NP (Mesa Arch & Upheaval Dome)
* The Shafer “Jeep” Trail down to the White Rim road and back to Moab.
* Hike to Delicate Arch & visit Windows section in Arches NP.

Thu 3.17.11
* Newspaper Rock in the Needles district of Canyonlands NP
* Attempt back road travel thru the Abajo Mountains to Monticello
* Edge of the Cedars museum in Blanding, Utah
* Hovenweep – Square tower group loop hike
* Shiprock and then on to Farmington, New Mexico.

Fri 3.18.11
* Bisti Badlands hike (My favorite hike on the trip)
* Chaco Canyon (Chetro Ketl and Pueblo Bonito) visit
* Scenic highway 96 and then down into Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Sat 3.19.11
* Santo Domingo Pueblo (turquoise & pueblo oven bread)
* Cerrillos and the Turquoise Trail (highway 14)
* Acoma Sky City pueblo
* El Morro national monument hike
* Zuni pueblo then on to Grants, New Mexico

Sun 3.20.11
* Scenic highway 34 through Crystal to Canyon de Chelly national monument
* Canyon del Muerto rim of Canyon de Chelly. Stay in Chinle, Arizona

Mon 3.21.11
* White house ruin overlook at Canyon de Chelly
* Drive through a major dust storm getting pelted with flying tumbleweeds
* Highway 264 across Hopi Mesas to Tuba City then to Page, Arizona

Tue 3.22.11
* Try “walk in” lottery for “The Wave” (failed…….again)
* Visit Upper antelope slot canyon
* Big Bend of Colorado River

Wed 3.23.11
* The Toadstools hike
* Cottonwood wash/Paria River dirt road to Grosvenor (Butler) arch
* Kodachrome Basin (hike “Parade” and box canyons loop)
* Bryce Canyon National Park then on to Escalante, Utah

Thu 3.24.11
* Cancelled all our dirt road travel when we woke up to snow in Escalante
* Goblin Valley State Park then on to Ogden, Utah

Fri 3.15.11
* Interstate (through some serious snow in Northern Utah) back home.

Part of the fun of any “road trip” is the many interesting and wonderful people you meet along the way. We met more than our share but a few honorable mentions:

* Fred (Sawtooth photo) joined us for a Cracker Barrel lunch in Boise
* Al Hamann (a colorful character to say the least) CEO of Sun’s Inc. Passive Solar Products at Cindi’s Café in Huntington, Utah
* 15 year old “life is good” waitress at the Moab, Utah Pizza Hut
* Ana and daughter Tina ~ Santo Domingo Pueblo (turquoise & bread)
* Patricia (owner) at the Cerrillos, New Mexico turquoise mine museum
* “Love’s his job” and knowledgeable ranger at El Morro national monument
* Acoma Indian waitress at Grants, New Mexico
* Young Zuni girl with her special puppy “Angel”

And I just as well get the big confession out of the way. I gained back 6 pounds on this 12 day trip (and it is no mystery how that happened), of the hard lost pounds I from the preceding two and half months (“New Year’s resolution”). We ate a LOT at a LOT of family cafés and had many Denny’s specials. We found a few places to eat that were just flat out fantastic:

1. Homestead Steak House in Blanding, Utah (Order the French dip sandwich, which is served on fresh doughy bread, lots of beef, onions, green pepper, and cheese). Oh my!

2. The Family Hogan in Tuba City, Arizona. They were out of the Navajo mutton stew so I had the open face hot beef sandwich and a pizza sized Navajo fry bread with butter, sugar and cinnamon on the side (a vanilla milk shake too). I enjoyed each and every bite. The food was excellent and portions – generous.

3. Escalante Outfitters café (Pesto chicken pizza). Always good food can be found here and friendly people working there.

* Skip Chu Chu’s restaurant outside the Zuni pueblo. It was worth the view and a try, but the food was just not up to “road trip” standards.

I hope you enjoy some of the selected photographs I post from this road trip.

Oldmantravels 3.27.2011

Posted by oldmantravels on 2011-04-04 22:10:02

Tagged: , New Mexico , El Morro National Monument , Anasazi dwellings , four corners road trip , historic trails routes , beale’s camel trail , historic inscriptions , old spanish trail route , water in the desert , oasis , cliff dwelings , hiking new mexico , square kiva , round kiva , anasazi ruins , ancient puebloan ruins , historic trails america , new mexico highway 53 , el morro new mexico , sandstone cliffs

Cold morning at El Morro

Cold morning at El Morro

☼ PHOTOGRAPH PARTICULARS ☼

The waterhole at El Morro is behind me and lower center in this photograph. Thanks Ed.

It was cold when we first arrived so my wool stocking hat and Primaloft jacket felt good.

Rain and snow melt feed a small waterhole at the base of a cliff. For thousands of years it was the only reliable water for over 30 miles in any directions. The cliffs served as a landmark making the waterhole easy to locate. The original waterhole has been enlarged a bit over time by those who depended upon it, but it is still dwarfed by the towering cliffs that shade it and keep it from evaporating in the summer heat.

The waterhole is along the natural route between the Acoma and Zuni Pueblos. Anasazi built masonry dwellings and kivas on top the El Morro sandstone mesa and added their petroglyphs to the rock faces of the cliffs near the waterhole. These cliff faces would record the passing of many interesting, famous, and widely varied travelers.

The oldest “non-Native American” inscription was left by Don Juan de Onate in 1605. Lots of the Spanish conquistadores left their message here and “paso por aqui” or “pasamos por aqui” (I or we passed by way of here in Spanish), is a common message carved in the cliffs. Ramon Garcia Jurado carved a message on the cliffs in 1709 just 30 years after the Pueblo Revolt, where the Pueblo people united and drove the Spaniards out of their homeland (temporarily).

Among the Native American bighorn sheep petroglyphs and Spanish “paso por aqui” messages a poet left a poem in 1629 cut in stone. Then came Americans and the U.S. Army. Lt. J.H. Simpson left a crisp inscription here in 1849. Then the somewhat bizarre: in 1859 the U.S. Army experimented with the use of camels for desert travel in the American Southwest.

The camels were bought in Egypt; trained in Texas; and led by Lt. Edward Beale (He was originally in the U.S. Navy!) with a fellow named Breckenridge, in charge of the camels. They stopped by at El Morro twice, both in 1857 and in 1859 when they carved their names in the cliffs.

By the time the civil war began, the U.S. Army gave up the idea of camels and most were sold or turned loose. There are many strange stories of those travelers who ran across “wild camels” in the Southwest in subsequent years, many of whom must have given up whatever brand of whisky they may have been drinking at the time.

The stories with a link to El Morro, go on and on, and make interesting reading. A visit to El Morro brings many of the stories much more to life. It was a good stop and excellent hike. Ice had closed a portion of the loop trail, so Ed and I hiked to the end of the trail and the back tracked up to the top of the mesa to hike the other portion.

☼ ACTIVITIES DAY SEVEN OF TWELVE ☼

This would be an interesting day of travel on this road trip but not a particularly good day for photographs. In fact, there is only one photograph that I took the entire day that I’m proud of. The rest do little more than share a story of road trip travels and preserve good memories.

After a now customary big breakfast at Denny’s, we left Grants, New Mexico for El Morro National Monument. El Morro had perhaps the most interesting history of any place we visited on this road trip. There are few “knock out” photos to be had here but hiking along the inscriptions panel on the face of the cliffs; the water pool that “made” the place; or up across the top of the cliffs where there are kivas and masonry ruins and views for hundreds of miles – – certainly made this a great place to stop and visit.

Leaving El Morro, we drove to the Zuni Pueblo. I got my favorite photograph of the day of a young Zuni girl clutching her precious puppy, she said she had named “angel”. Zuni Pueblo though, is one of two places we visited on this road trip that I would not highly recommend. The pueblo itself is so run down it is a bit depressing, even though all the Zuni people we met were friendly, helpful, and wonderful people.

The women working the official Zuni crafts outlet store will never make a living working on sales commission but in their own unhurried way, they went about life. I bought a jet bear fetish here with an inlaid turquoise rain cloud. A card came with it telling of the Zuni craftsman, who created it. It is something I will long treasure, though a return trip to Zuni Pueblo will never be high on my list. The church at Zuni Pueblo, like most else there is in bad need of some care.

One of the many guide books I had with me said that highway 13 coming in from the Northeast of Canyon de Chelly was scenic, so Ed and I plotted a route to Chinle, Arizona that would take us north up highway 491 from Gallup, New Mexico, then over the mountains on highway 13 to the north edge of Canyon de Chelly (Canyon del Muerto is the north canyon).

The weather was windy and often with lots of clouds on our drive to Canyon de Chelly, but the back roads were interesting to drive. My wife and I had taken our four wheel drive truck with an old Navajo guide up Canyon del Muerto and we had revisited the rim several times. Still it was a place I enjoy and Ed hadn’t been there, so it was a worthwhile place to visit along the way.

We got rooms at Chinle and Ed helped me back up all the photos I had taken thus far on the road trip (LOTS), by unloading them to his computer then saving them on an 8 gb flash drive that I had purchased for the purpose at Moab.

By the way. Ed has taken two photo safaris to Africa in the last few years. His photographs of those trips on his “oldwrangler” Flickr photo site are outstanding. He used an Epson external hard drive and photo viewer “back up” on those trips. He had the Epson along on this trip and I fell in love with it. Probably too pricey for me, but I have looked at the P2000 and P4000 models on the internet, since our return from this road trip, with interest.

Here is the link to Ed’s “oldwrangler” Flickr photos: www.flickr.com/photos/31726639@N04/sets/

☼ 3,875 MILE/12 DAY ~ 4 CORNERS ROAD TRIP OVERVIEW ☼

At the start of year 2011, I made tentative plans to take a two week solo “road trip” through the Four Corners area (The Colorado Plateau), during the last half of March. Then, if my wife could get the time needed off from her part time job, I also planned a “road trip” vacation to the Southwest, in April with her.

When I put the plan together for the March trip, I decided to see if an old friend of mine, Ed (Flickr’s: OldWrangler), might be interested in joining me. I volunteered to take my old four wheel drive pickup truck and split the gasoline expense with him. We would each get an inexpensive motel room on the road to serve as “base camps” to hike, photograph, and explore back roads in the Four Corners area.

Not only did Ed accept but he also proposed that we take his brand new 4-door Jeep Wrangler instead of my old pickup truck. That didn’t take any thinking on my part. I LOVE Jeeps and Ed and I have always got along well (decades ago, I worked for him and we had taken a fun road trip together back in 2008, along with my friend John and my youngest son). The deal was sealed.

We left my house in Central Washington early Monday morning on the 14th of March. We returned 12 days and 3,875 miles later on Friday evening March 25th. We spent a lot of time drinking Diet Pepsi from the ice chest and keeping the hits of the 60s (and occasionally the 70s), cranked up high on the Jeep’s Sirius satellite radio sound system. Sing along music! “Road trip” tunes.

Weather often dictated changes to our proposed route and activities. We stayed flexible, and in the end we visited the large majority of places we had hoped to see, when the road trip began. We had sun and clear skies, snow, dust storms, and high winds at times. Ed’s Jeep had an outside temperature display. We drove in everything from18 degree weather to temperatures in the 70s in New Mexico.

Here in outline form are the places we saw, hiked, photographed, and visited during the 12 day road trip:

Mon 3.14.11
* Interstate travel from my house in Central Washington to Lehi, Utah

Tue 3.15.11
* Scenic back roads ( Hwys: 6, 89, & 31) from Spanish Fork to Huntington, Utah
* Dirt road travel to “The Wedge” and down Buckhorn Wash to I-70.
* Side trip to the Head of Sinbad petroglyph and then on to Moab.

Wed 3.16.11
* Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands NP (Mesa Arch & Upheaval Dome)
* The Shafer “Jeep” Trail down to the White Rim road and back to Moab.
* Hike to Delicate Arch & visit Windows section in Arches NP.

Thu 3.17.11
* Newspaper Rock in the Needles district of Canyonlands NP
* Attempt back road travel thru the Abajo Mountains to Monticello
* Edge of the Cedars museum in Blanding, Utah
* Hovenweep – Square tower group loop hike
* Shiprock and then on to Farmington, New Mexico.

Fri 3.18.11
* Bisti Badlands hike (My favorite hike on the trip)
* Chaco Canyon (Chetro Ketl and Pueblo Bonito) visit
* Scenic highway 96 and then down into Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Sat 3.19.11
* Santo Domingo Pueblo (turquoise & pueblo oven bread)
* Cerrillos and the Turquoise Trail (highway 14)
* Acoma Sky City pueblo
* El Morro national monument hike
* Zuni pueblo then on to Grants, New Mexico

Sun 3.20.11
* Scenic highway 34 through Crystal to Canyon de Chelly national monument
* Canyon del Muerto rim of Canyon de Chelly. Stay in Chinle, Arizona

Mon 3.21.11
* White house ruin overlook at Canyon de Chelly
* Drive through a major dust storm getting pelted with flying tumbleweeds
* Highway 264 across Hopi Mesas to Tuba City then to Page, Arizona

Tue 3.22.11
* Try “walk in” lottery for “The Wave” (failed…….again)
* Visit Upper antelope slot canyon
* Big Bend of Colorado River

Wed 3.23.11
* The Toadstools hike
* Cottonwood wash/Paria River dirt road to Grosvenor (Butler) arch
* Kodachrome Basin (hike “Parade” and box canyons loop)
* Bryce Canyon National Park then on to Escalante, Utah

Thu 3.24.11
* Cancelled all our dirt road travel when we woke up to snow in Escalante
* Goblin Valley State Park then on to Ogden, Utah

Fri 3.15.11
* Interstate (through some serious snow in Northern Utah) back home.

Part of the fun of any “road trip” is the many interesting and wonderful people you meet along the way. We met more than our share but a few honorable mentions:

* Fred (Sawtooth photo) joined us for a Cracker Barrel lunch in Boise
* Al Hamann (a colorful character to say the least) CEO of Sun’s Inc. Passive Solar Products at Cindi’s Café in Huntington, Utah
* 15 year old “life is good” waitress at the Moab, Utah Pizza Hut
* Ana and daughter Tina ~ Santo Domingo Pueblo (turquoise & bread)
* Patricia (owner) at the Cerrillos, New Mexico turquoise mine museum
* “Love’s his job” and knowledgeable ranger at El Morro national monument
* Acoma Indian waitress at Grants, New Mexico
* Young Zuni girl with her special puppy “Angel”

And I just as well get the big confession out of the way. I gained back 6 pounds on this 12 day trip (and it is no mystery how that happened), of the hard lost pounds I from the preceding two and half months (“New Year’s resolution”). We ate a LOT at a LOT of family cafés and had many Denny’s specials. We found a few places to eat that were just flat out fantastic:

1. Homestead Steak House in Blanding, Utah (Order the French dip sandwich, which is served on fresh doughy bread, lots of beef, onions, green pepper, and cheese). Oh my!

2. The Family Hogan in Tuba City, Arizona. They were out of the Navajo mutton stew so I had the open face hot beef sandwich and a pizza sized Navajo fry bread with butter, sugar and cinnamon on the side (a vanilla milk shake too). I enjoyed each and every bite. The food was excellent and portions – generous.

3. Escalante Outfitters café (Pesto chicken pizza). Always good food can be found here and friendly people working there.

* Skip Chu Chu’s restaurant outside the Zuni pueblo. It was worth the view and a try, but the food was just not up to “road trip” standards.

I hope you enjoy some of the selected photographs I post from this road trip.

Oldmantravels 3.27.2011

Posted by oldmantravels on 2011-04-04 18:31:36

Tagged: , New Mexico , El Morro National Monument , historic trails and routes , four corners road trip , historic trails routes , beale’s camel trail , historic inscriptions , old spanish trail route , water in the desert , oasis , cliff dwelings , hiking new mexico , square kiva , round kiva , anasazi ruins , ancient puebloan ruins , historic trails america , new mexico highway 53 , el morro new mexico , sandstone cliffs

El Morro mesa kiva

El Morro mesa kiva

☼ PHOTOGRAPH PARTICULARS ☼

The round kiva, right across from the square kiva on top of El Morro Mesa. It was the first time I had seen a square kiva, that was certainly a kiva. The witty ranger said one theory for the square and the round kivas here, is that the Spaniards with their entourage of zealot missionaries, recognized the round kivas as Anasazi religious and ceremonial places and would destroy or build over them. So…..the Anasazi hedged their bet and built a few square kivas.

True or not, I like that story. All over Mexico I remember how often that Catholic churches were built on top of pyraminds and older Native American places of spiritual significance.

Rain and snow melt feed a small waterhole at the base of a cliff. For thousands of years it was the only reliable water for over 30 miles in any directions. The cliffs served as a landmark making the waterhole easy to locate. The original waterhole has been enlarged a bit over time by those who depended upon it, but it is still dwarfed by the towering cliffs that shade it and keep it from evaporating in the summer heat.

The waterhole is along the natural route between the Acoma and Zuni Pueblos. Anasazi built masonry dwellings and kivas on top the El Morro sandstone mesa and added their petroglyphs to the rock faces of the cliffs near the waterhole. These cliff faces would record the passing of many interesting, famous, and widely varied travelers.

The oldest “non-Native American” inscription was left by Don Juan de Onate in 1605. Lots of the Spanish conquistadores left their message here and “paso por aqui” or “pasamos por aqui” (I or we passed by way of here in Spanish), is a common message carved in the cliffs. Ramon Garcia Jurado carved a message on the cliffs in 1709 just 30 years after the Pueblo Revolt, where the Pueblo people united and drove the Spaniards out of their homeland (temporarily).

Among the Native American bighorn sheep petroglyphs and Spanish “paso por aqui” messages a poet left a poem in 1629 cut in stone. Then came Americans and the U.S. Army. Lt. J.H. Simpson left a crisp inscription here in 1849. Then the somewhat bizarre: in 1859 the U.S. Army experimented with the use of camels for desert travel in the American Southwest.

The camels were bought in Egypt; trained in Texas; and led by Lt. Edward Beale (He was originally in the U.S. Navy!) with a fellow named Breckenridge, in charge of the camels. They stopped by at El Morro twice, both in 1857 and in 1859 when they carved their names in the cliffs.

By the time the civil war began, the U.S. Army gave up the idea of camels and most were sold or turned loose. There are many strange stories of those travelers who ran across “wild camels” in the Southwest in subsequent years, many of whom must have given up whatever brand of whisky they may have been drinking at the time.

The stories with a link to El Morro, go on and on, and make interesting reading. A visit to El Morro brings many of the stories much more to life. It was a good stop and excellent hike. Ice had closed a portion of the loop trail, so Ed and I hiked to the end of the trail and the back tracked up to the top of the mesa to hike the other portion.

☼ ACTIVITIES DAY SEVEN OF TWELVE ☼

This would be an interesting day of travel on this road trip but not a particularly good day for photographs. In fact, there is only one photograph that I took the entire day that I’m proud of. The rest do little more than share a story of road trip travels and preserve good memories.

After a now customary big breakfast at Denny’s, we left Grants, New Mexico for El Morro National Monument. El Morro had perhaps the most interesting history of any place we visited on this road trip. There are few “knock out” photos to be had here but hiking along the inscriptions panel on the face of the cliffs; the water pool that “made” the place; or up across the top of the cliffs where there are kivas and masonry ruins and views for hundreds of miles – – certainly made this a great place to stop and visit.

Leaving El Morro, we drove to the Zuni Pueblo. I got my favorite photograph of the day of a young Zuni girl clutching her precious puppy, she said she had named “angel”. Zuni Pueblo though, is one of two places we visited on this road trip that I would not highly recommend. The pueblo itself is so run down it is a bit depressing, even though all the Zuni people we met were friendly, helpful, and wonderful people.

The women working the official Zuni crafts outlet store will never make a living working on sales commission but in their own unhurried way, they went about life. I bought a jet bear fetish here with an inlaid turquoise rain cloud. A card came with it telling of the Zuni craftsman, who created it. It is something I will long treasure, though a return trip to Zuni Pueblo will never be high on my list. The church at Zuni Pueblo, like most else there is in bad need of some care.

One of the many guide books I had with me said that highway 13 coming in from the Northeast of Canyon de Chelly was scenic, so Ed and I plotted a route to Chinle, Arizona that would take us north up highway 491 from Gallup, New Mexico, then over the mountains on highway 13 to the north edge of Canyon de Chelly (Canyon del Muerto is the north canyon).

The weather was windy and often with lots of clouds on our drive to Canyon de Chelly, but the back roads were interesting to drive. My wife and I had taken our four wheel drive truck with an old Navajo guide up Canyon del Muerto and we had revisited the rim several times. Still it was a place I enjoy and Ed hadn’t been there, so it was a worthwhile place to visit along the way.

We got rooms at Chinle and Ed helped me back up all the photos I had taken thus far on the road trip (LOTS), by unloading them to his computer then saving them on an 8 gb flash drive that I had purchased for the purpose at Moab.

By the way. Ed has taken two photo safaris to Africa in the last few years. His photographs of those trips on his “oldwrangler” Flickr photo site are outstanding. He used an Epson external hard drive and photo viewer “back up” on those trips. He had the Epson along on this trip and I fell in love with it. Probably too pricey for me, but I have looked at the P2000 and P4000 models on the internet, since our return from this road trip, with interest.

Here is the link to Ed’s “oldwrangler” Flickr photos: www.flickr.com/photos/31726639@N04/sets/

☼ 3,875 MILE/12 DAY ~ 4 CORNERS ROAD TRIP OVERVIEW ☼

At the start of year 2011, I made tentative plans to take a two week solo “road trip” through the Four Corners area (The Colorado Plateau), during the last half of March. Then, if my wife could get the time needed off from her part time job, I also planned a “road trip” vacation to the Southwest, in April with her.

When I put the plan together for the March trip, I decided to see if an old friend of mine, Ed (Flickr’s: OldWrangler), might be interested in joining me. I volunteered to take my old four wheel drive pickup truck and split the gasoline expense with him. We would each get an inexpensive motel room on the road to serve as “base camps” to hike, photograph, and explore back roads in the Four Corners area.

Not only did Ed accept but he also proposed that we take his brand new 4-door Jeep Wrangler instead of my old pickup truck. That didn’t take any thinking on my part. I LOVE Jeeps and Ed and I have always got along well (decades ago, I worked for him and we had taken a fun road trip together back in 2008, along with my friend John and my youngest son). The deal was sealed.

We left my house in Central Washington early Monday morning on the 14th of March. We returned 12 days and 3,875 miles later on Friday evening March 25th. We spent a lot of time drinking Diet Pepsi from the ice chest and keeping the hits of the 60s (and occasionally the 70s), cranked up high on the Jeep’s Sirius satellite radio sound system. Sing along music! “Road trip” tunes.

Weather often dictated changes to our proposed route and activities. We stayed flexible, and in the end we visited the large majority of places we had hoped to see, when the road trip began. We had sun and clear skies, snow, dust storms, and high winds at times. Ed’s Jeep had an outside temperature display. We drove in everything from18 degree weather to temperatures in the 70s in New Mexico.

Here in outline form are the places we saw, hiked, photographed, and visited during the 12 day road trip:

Mon 3.14.11
* Interstate travel from my house in Central Washington to Lehi, Utah

Tue 3.15.11
* Scenic back roads ( Hwys: 6, 89, & 31) from Spanish Fork to Huntington, Utah
* Dirt road travel to “The Wedge” and down Buckhorn Wash to I-70.
* Side trip to the Head of Sinbad petroglyph and then on to Moab.

Wed 3.16.11
* Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands NP (Mesa Arch & Upheaval Dome)
* The Shafer “Jeep” Trail down to the White Rim road and back to Moab.
* Hike to Delicate Arch & visit Windows section in Arches NP.

Thu 3.17.11
* Newspaper Rock in the Needles district of Canyonlands NP
* Attempt back road travel thru the Abajo Mountains to Monticello
* Edge of the Cedars museum in Blanding, Utah
* Hovenweep – Square tower group loop hike
* Shiprock and then on to Farmington, New Mexico.

Fri 3.18.11
* Bisti Badlands hike (My favorite hike on the trip)
* Chaco Canyon (Chetro Ketl and Pueblo Bonito) visit
* Scenic highway 96 and then down into Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Sat 3.19.11
* Santo Domingo Pueblo (turquoise & pueblo oven bread)
* Cerrillos and the Turquoise Trail (highway 14)
* Acoma Sky City pueblo
* El Morro national monument hike
* Zuni pueblo then on to Grants, New Mexico

Sun 3.20.11
* Scenic highway 34 through Crystal to Canyon de Chelly national monument
* Canyon del Muerto rim of Canyon de Chelly. Stay in Chinle, Arizona

Mon 3.21.11
* White house ruin overlook at Canyon de Chelly
* Drive through a major dust storm getting pelted with flying tumbleweeds
* Highway 264 across Hopi Mesas to Tuba City then to Page, Arizona

Tue 3.22.11
* Try “walk in” lottery for “The Wave” (failed…….again)
* Visit Upper antelope slot canyon
* Big Bend of Colorado River

Wed 3.23.11
* The Toadstools hike
* Cottonwood wash/Paria River dirt road to Grosvenor (Butler) arch
* Kodachrome Basin (hike “Parade” and box canyons loop)
* Bryce Canyon National Park then on to Escalante, Utah

Thu 3.24.11
* Cancelled all our dirt road travel when we woke up to snow in Escalante
* Goblin Valley State Park then on to Ogden, Utah

Fri 3.15.11
* Interstate (through some serious snow in Northern Utah) back home.

Part of the fun of any “road trip” is the many interesting and wonderful people you meet along the way. We met more than our share but a few honorable mentions:

* Fred (Sawtooth photo) joined us for a Cracker Barrel lunch in Boise
* Al Hamann (a colorful character to say the least) CEO of Sun’s Inc. Passive Solar Products at Cindi’s Café in Huntington, Utah
* 15 year old “life is good” waitress at the Moab, Utah Pizza Hut
* Ana and daughter Tina ~ Santo Domingo Pueblo (turquoise & bread)
* Patricia (owner) at the Cerrillos, New Mexico turquoise mine museum
* “Love’s his job” and knowledgeable ranger at El Morro national monument
* Acoma Indian waitress at Grants, New Mexico
* Young Zuni girl with her special puppy “Angel”

And I just as well get the big confession out of the way. I gained back 6 pounds on this 12 day trip (and it is no mystery how that happened), of the hard lost pounds I from the preceding two and half months (“New Year’s resolution”). We ate a LOT at a LOT of family cafés and had many Denny’s specials. We found a few places to eat that were just flat out fantastic:

1. Homestead Steak House in Blanding, Utah (Order the French dip sandwich, which is served on fresh doughy bread, lots of beef, onions, green pepper, and cheese). Oh my!

2. The Family Hogan in Tuba City, Arizona. They were out of the Navajo mutton stew so I had the open face hot beef sandwich and a pizza sized Navajo fry bread with butter, sugar and cinnamon on the side (a vanilla milk shake too). I enjoyed each and every bite. The food was excellent and portions – generous.

3. Escalante Outfitters café (Pesto chicken pizza). Always good food can be found here and friendly people working there.

* Skip Chu Chu’s restaurant outside the Zuni pueblo. It was worth the view and a try, but the food was just not up to “road trip” standards.

I hope you enjoy some of the selected photographs I post from this road trip.

Oldmantravels 3.27.2011

Posted by oldmantravels on 2011-04-04 19:47:38

Tagged: , New Mexico , El Morro National Monument , cliff dwellings , Anasazi , ‘historic , trails , routes , four corners road trip , historic trails routes , beale’s camel trail , historic inscriptions , old spanish trail route , water in the desert , oasis , cliff dwelings , hiking new mexico , square kiva , round kiva , anasazi ruins , ancient puebloan ruins , historic trails america , new mexico highway 53 , el morro new mexico , sandstone cliffs