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Old 09-17-2016, 06:47 PM   #1
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The FIRST Boondockers... by choice 800AD

The Anasazi Indians Boondocked long before Airstreams. Had they the opportunity to have an Airstream... they would have been the envy of the entire Southwestern USA. This was their home without... wheels, or horse, or... all foot powered.

I include some photographs of a number of Pit Houses in New Mexico at 6,500 feet elevation. They survived without the many things we require in our trailers. This is just one example of a community of five or six Pit Houses... the ancestors to the Cliff Dwellers. Although they could also been the 'summer homes' away from the Cliff Dwellings.

This is what you can discover on your own... just by reading about what requirements these Native Americans needed such as Shelter, Water, Food and supplies needed for maintaining their simple existence. Many Pit Houses will have large trees growing from them. The pit houses were originally circular when you stumble across any. At the beginning you may be standing on top of a Pit House and not realize it, until you see the pot shards and agate or Obsidian flakes... you would have never known.

Many, if not all of these ancient dwellings were 'pot hunted' for their contents in the 1890's once the area was opened for logging. If you find stumps from early lumbering of the original large pine trees... expect the ancient contents dug out and taken at that time. As you get further away from easy access, the Pit Houses are very impressive. Any of the wood used for a roof has rotted a thousand years ago, but you can see the shape, the entrance and as usual... one or more pine trees growing from them.

The broken pot shards are examples of a talent in these primitive conditions... to us, that is. One photograph shows pottery and chips washing out of the dirt, away from the pit houses. They, for whatever reason, would break a damaged pot into smaller pieces and toss them aside. Find a pot shard... the Pit House can only be a short 'toss' from where you are standing.

The Quemado Adventures of 2015 and 2016 were able to explore this part of New Mexico and stumble into some of these interesting sites. No. They are not fenced, walled out from people... but existing as they have since 800AD. This is one of the great benefits of leaving a 'guided Cliff Dwelling tour' and imagine doing your own as a true explorer.

Have a wonderful camping season for 2017! All of this adds to the enjoyment and thrill of the hunt. All of us have a little 'Raiders of the Lost Arc' curiosity in our personalities... but with these sites... leave them as your find them.
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Old 09-17-2016, 08:37 PM   #2
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Some things we might never know….

Folks that feel that speculation is a bad word, might not appreciate my ramblings here.

I've hiked many miles, exploring the trades routes?, communication routes?, highways to growing fields or supplemental water? trails to holy spots?, trails to summer or winter homes ?, escape routes from attacks or floods? Who can be sure? Maybe a combination of a few or all of the above?

One thing is clear, The Anasasi were an organized people. One thing almost universally agreed upon, is that we don't know for sure what was the reason for their demise.

There are many remnants of larger " pueblos ". What I found more fascinating was their branches away from, or to the communities, and specifically how the Anasazi lived.

Petroglyphs that I saw suggested they were hunters, ranchers, farmers, and fishermen. I saw what appeared to be family snapshots.

One location we found because of trees and plant life suggested that the area could support life. We found the spring that supplied a constant drip of life giving water. It had a stone silo, part natural, part excavated, part built. It had a " balcony" which might have been used to stay dry, and/or to protect from attack. A rock shaded kitchen/work area. It had and underground kiva (round room), that provided us a cool place to hide from the heat.

I enjoyed pondering the imponderables, and speculating…content just wondering, even though my forensics were just a limited tool. I had fun.

If you are interested, but don't hike, and are in the Four Corners area, think about going to the ruins in Aztec, N.M. It's like a museum now.
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