(For booklet version click here or go to all downloads tab, it’s free!) Walnut Canyon 1.1.18, by Geibral Elisha
We woke up on January 1st 2018 ready to start fresh. I had been talking with my partner Elena (will refer to her as Blanca, Blanc also) about an idea I had to travel the world and document various sites. I didn’t know how or where I’d start, but I had hope. She came in with clutch advice. Start locally. Haha what an obvious concept but I had clearly missed it. Her background and discipline is in business administration. I, on the other hand, have ambitions and dreams but I can’t see the steps sometimes only the finished product. So I told her we would get started exploring at the beginning of the new year. We loaded up the Fj (I’m soooo happy I have my dream truck…another story) got gas and hit the I-17. Blanc was curious as to where we were going, but I told her it was a surprise. Lol in all honesty I didn’t know where we were going…. I’M NOT A PLANNER! I had looked up a few National Monuments on google and wanted to check one out but was unsure. Anyway we made it to Flagstaff and I pulled into a gas station. I found the directions to anything close and Walnut Canyon came up. We showed up and I think to my knowledge it was my first time visiting a National Monument.
Now I have had an interest in cliff dwellings especially with our view of the “primitive natives”. So for that I was disappointed in myself, that I assumed I needed to go to Colorado to see Mesa Verde or something first. This trip opened my eyes up for sure. We paid the admission and began to make our way through the glass doors. Panic immediately set in. Maybe it’s because it was the first day of a 3 day fast to start my New Year spiritually right, or because I’m terrified of heights. I was in an embarrassing amount of panic. Blanc tried to calm me down but I felt like the area was trying to pull me in. I wasn’t ready to die.
I told her I was going to stay there and let her explore instead. She kinda laughed but after a while she convinced me and I made my decent. It was so beautiful no lie! I was still panicking but a sense of awe began to set in. The whole mountain area was full of cliff dwellings. I had assumed it was one section. I was wrong. Layers on top of layers of identical dwellings. First thought that came in my mind was how? I have a background in construction. When I was 19, I dropped out of college where I was majoring in early childhood education. Now I’m no master builder, but I worked hard and learned from on the job training and shadowing city inspectors daily. One thought that popped into my head was are these an early form of track homes?
(I knew I needed to compare a few other sites before coming to a conclusion)
I began to think they couldn’t have just arrived and started building, was there a master blueprint? Did they start from the top or bottom? How did they find this place? There are theories but to me some are shallow and are contradictory. Now it’s possible water did erode the cliffs at this location but all the levels in almost perfect rows? I decided I found a good project to begin researching. Cliff dwellings of American Natives. I, like the natives, had almost divinely been lead to the right spot for some reason on that day. I decided I would start a new project. I would document, compare, and research various sites across the American Southwest. We continued to hike around the canyon and take in the magnitude of the structures. I was still petrified unfortunately, so I walked as briskly as I could.
It really was surreal to be in the area that they lived in like that. I was even more convinced that our view of the natives was wrong. We made our way back up to the shop area and I decided I would want to get a passport book to stamp all the sites I traveled to.
I would suggest also doing that it’s a fun way to document your trips to the national Monuments. Also get the park pass if you do it saves you money in the long run, and it allows guests to get in for free with you. I found some cool patches to begin my collection on the ceiling of the Fj from places I traveled.
We drove to downtown Flag, walked around, checked out local shops, then we hit the road. All in all it was a great day. It really was the perfect trip to start out the exploration aspects of Quest for Knowledge. If the superstition has any credence we should be in for a good year! Until next time, so long.
Copyright 2018. Quest for Knowledge