Tag Archives: archaeologists

Crossing Boundaries, Part Two by Steven L. Peck

Steve, friend, and redrock country

To read Part One, click here.

H. is unwilling to give up and is looking more closely at the little hole we might be able to climb in. I back up and find a passage behind a fallen slab about the size of a pancaked SUV leaning against the wall of rock. I tell H. and he looks and we decide it is worth a try. He goes first (again, being the less timid) and wiggles his way through on his belly. He yells that it ends at a drop off about seven feet high. I hear grunting, huffing and puffing . . . ”If I can just twist around . . . I can go feet first . . .” More grunting then an exclamation, “I’ve done it!” I then belly through the birth canal and emerge scratched up but smiling. We continue. The canyon is very narrow now. We cannot face forward in some places without each shoulder touching the wall. Two more places require us to chimney to get down similar seven-foot drops, but they are coming more often and getting trickier to negotiate. Continue reading Crossing Boundaries, Part Two by Steven L. Peck

Field Notes #11: Winter Solstice 2010, Part Five

Parts one, two, three, and four.

The mid-sized Ancestral Puebloan site sitting up on that “erosional layer of lower strata” (love that phrase) of Crossfire’s east cliffs is one of my favorites because of the serene view it offers down-canyon.  From what I’ve seen of that portion of Crossfire, including about a mile or so of what lies below the “No Drive Zone,” the farther south the canyon runs the wider it opens out and the higher the cliffs soar above its floor.  This Pueblo II-Pueblo III site’s impressive field of view takes in several of the canyon’s other ruins, including the first site across canyon that the archaeologist and I visited and, possibly, the tower. An ATV trail, badly eroded now as its illegality has come clear and nobody wants to risk keeping it up, crosses this site and runs onto the mesa east of Crossfire.  Sometimes I climb just above the ruin and sit on a flat rock jutting from the canyon wall out of which the trail was carved.  It’s nice up there, the size of the place intimates itself more deeply, and I feel the canyon’s inclusiveness fold me in. Continue reading Field Notes #11: Winter Solstice 2010, Part Five