Imagine clear blue skies with temperatures in the 20s and miles and miles of red rocks waiting to be hiked - if there is a heaven this is it!

On my first day I got really lucky and found an awesome trail system completely by accident - I was turning around on some backstreets and noticed a sign pointing to a trailhead.  I was in a state of awe... I have never seen country like this before and it is so beautiful.  The trail led up to Mesa Grande - a flat section with views of red rocks towering up from the ground.  

From there I took a little detour off the main drag - and as luck would have it - ran into a group of javelina.  These are wild boar and are quite harmless according to a man I met on the trail.   They just can be a bit blind, so you do have to let them know you are there - apparently if they walk into you, their tusks can do some damage.  I was especially lucky because there was a baby in there midst!  And there is nothing I love more than baby animals! 

The next morning I headed out to the Montezuma Castle & Montezuma Well National Monuments.  These are both sites that were once inhabited by cliff-dwelling tribes.  The original name these people called themselves is unknown, but have since become known as the Sinagua ("without water").  It is thought that these people migrated into the valley by about 1125 and left mysteriously in the early 1400s.  

The Montezuma Well is a limestone sink formed from a collapse of an underground limestone cavern.  Along the edges of the sink the Sinagua had built homes in the caves.  Unlike sinkholes I have visited in Mexico where swimming was a delight, there is no way I (or anyone probably) would swim in this one. The reason for this is that it is teeming with leeches!  Ugh.  There are two creatures in this world that creep me right out and I get a little concerned if they are near me and those are leeches and ticks.  I just shivered writing that.  

After getting my history fix, I headed back out into the outdoors and followed some more trails.  The first trail was a miss as it mysteriously disappeared in a large boulder feild and even though I went everyway possible, I could not pick it up again.  The second one was much better, but I was short on daylight hours.  I wanted to reach the peak of Mt. Wilson, but only made it to the first summit - still wonderful views of the surrounding country and the town below. 

4/7/2013 11:21:40 am

On Friday I got a leech on my foot and I think it left marks

4/7/2013 12:48:56 pm

Oh dear.... that sounds terrifying...


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