Tuesday, April 28, 2020

On the road again

Our first night's stop was at Homolovi State Park, near Winslow, Arizona (Yes, I can hear you singing.....).    Actually, we stayed two nights so we could have a little time to see some of the Hopi ancestral sites there.

my restful view across the high desert plains

The campground sites are very widely spaced so we knew social distancing would not be a problem.

my kind of social distancing
a noisy neighbor this morning

It was a very hot day and, of course, we didn't get going early in the cool morning, so we satisfied ourselves with a short walk along the orangey, muddy Little Colorado River and down a dirt road to wander among the remnants of Homolovi I, the smaller of the two pueblo mounds that are available to see.

  Many of these dwellings were vandalized and looted, ancient building materials sometimes reused by the Mormon settlers to construct their own dwellings.  Such devistation  resulted in the creation of the State Park.   The effort to preserve these relics consisted of  excavation of the remaining area, cataloging, then lining the underground dwellings with landscape fabric and burying them.   This procedure protects them from weather and further vandalization.     Edges of black material sticking up through the ground show the rooms that have been explored

black material above ground shows the outline of what is below the surface

We wandered along, enjoying the peace and quiet of the high desert landscape.    We saw part of a wall left uncovered for people to see the careful construction below.

The ground under our feet was littered with small pottery sherds and cutting stones.    Reminders of the people who once lived here 600 to 800 years ago.   

Not as visually impressive as the other large Native American structures we've seen, it was a quietly moving experience nonetheless.

A little later we drove out to the larger Homolovi 11 site but there was a car there so we decided to follow a dirt road we'd spied a few miles back.   We're suckers for dirt roads.     It ended rather unceremoniously at a gate with a cattle tank on the other side, but we did manage to find a few very worn petroglyphs on the rocky outcroppings we passed.

This sharp looking Shrike (aka Butcher bird) kept an eye on us until we drove away.

Tonight we're staying in Albuquerque, New Mexico and tomorrow we'll continue our trek home.


  1. Homolovi I is the area I did by myself. Homolovi II is a much larger area with a couple preserved ruins. I wish I had suggested you check our blog. I forgot the Little Painted Desert was just down the road. It's a pretty, colorful area along a dirt road. Darn! Next time!

    1. I knew the Homolovi 11 site was larger but still decided to forgo it for the dirt road that wound around below. We didn't want to visit the site with the others already there.
      You're right, there's always a next time!

  2. Looks like your campsite is completely isolated, a great spot. Thanks for the tour of Homolovi I, we did the larger Homolovi II site.
    Continued Safe Travels!

  3. Giving us ideas for our next trip.
    I was singing the Eagle's song.
    Be Safe and Enjoy your trek home.

    It's about time.

  4. We stayed at Homolovi several years back. You're correct, excellent park for social distancing! Safe travels for the remainder of your journey home.

  5. Amazing you guys were there the same time we were supposed to be! Such a peaceful place to spend the day. I don't think we've seen a Shrike yet - such an interesting bird :-)

    1. It would have been nice to having you there with us! Look for Shrike on the tops of bushes or fences. Pretty looking birds with a rather goulish habit....