četvrtak, 27.10.2011.


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Efficient use of hollow boulder

Efficient use of hollow boulder


These photographs are from the Square Tower section of Hovenweep National Monument. An outlier of Chaco Canyon, it is a good place to get a feel for the architecture and “place” where the Anasazi briefly prospered, then moved and dispersed (becoming the Hopi, Zuni, and other modern Pueblo people of today).

We took the rim trail loop which gives you a good look at the highly variable masonry buildings the Anasazi built. Buy and read the book: People of Chaco by Frederick Frazier before you visit Hovenweep or Chaco Canyon for a good understanding of the fantastic history of the people, who built these structures and lived out their lives here.

If you read this book, you will also see why I had such an interest in traveling the Turquoise Trail and visiting Cerrillos, New Mexico. This is where the turquoise came from that was found in such abundance at Chaco Canyon….a stone very important to the ancient ones and modern day Pueblo people.

At Hovenweep there are holes in the outside walls of many of the buildings designed to direct a shaft of light to a particular niche or place on a plaster wall in the interior to mark important celestial events (summer and winter solstices).


Day Four was pretty much a “travel” day on this road trip. We left Moab Thursday morning and headed for Farmington, New Mexico. We took a short trip west into the start of the Needles district of Canyonlands NP to see Newspaper Rock. Years ago, my wife and I had traveled into the Needles district with our four wheel drive Isuzu Trooper, driven the sand wash down Salt Creek and Horse Canyon to hike to Fortress and Castle Arch.

Ed and I decided at Newspaper Rock to back track a short ways and try a paved “loop” route into Monticello. We climbed high and steadily on FR 174. The views were outstanding. At a “T” we turned right to a small frozen lake set in an aspen grove (Shay Road to Aspen Flat). Returning to Forest Road 174 we almost made it to the summit, when we ran into snow on the road too deep to tackle. A newer car had been left in the middle of the road, where they had become stuck.

We retraced our route down the side of the Abajo Mountains (Abajo translates to “under” in Spanish), then on to Blanding, Utah. Here we had one of the best meals on the trip (Homestead Steakhouse).

We visited the modern “Edge of the Cedars” Native American museum at Blanding then drove to Hovenweep National Monument. I kept shaking my head at all the changes that had taken place over the years since my wife and I made trips to the area. In the 70s the Edge of the Cedars was just a dirt trail to an overlook and pour over by some cliff dwellings.

Back then, we had driven miles of dirt road to Hovenweep, to an unmanned small ranger’s station and parked right next to Castle ruin. We hiked down into the canyon to square tower ruin. On the last trip I filmed my wife and our kids hiking the area with a VHS movie camera.

But now, Ed and I drove his comfortable Jeep on paved roads all the way to a large modern well staffed visitors’ center at Hovenweep, where the trail out to Castle ruin is paved. No longer are you allowed to hike down into the canyon floor beside Square Tower ruin. That said, the loop hike along the rim that has been developed, the excellent visitors’ center, and the helpful rangers - - make a visit and hike worthwhile. It also provides more protection to the ruins that unfortunately, occasionally are vandalized.

From Hovenweep we headed for Farmington via back roads, with me constantly having heated arguments with the GPS navigator I choose to call “The NUVI lady”. She is usually right but when she errs it is a big one. We didn’t travel the route we intended to Farmington, but we got there. Shiprock was a footnote stop on the way to Farmington. With rain in the area we didn’t want to take any of the dirt roads leading close to it, so satisfied ourselves with “roadside” snapshots of the brooding volcanic neck that was such a classic landmark to early travelers (Shiprock).


At the start of year 2011, I made tentative plans to take a two week solo “road trip” through the Four Corners area (The Colorado Plateau), during the last half of March. Then, if my wife could get the time needed off from her part time job, I also planned a “road trip” vacation to the Southwest, in April with her.

When I put the plan together for the March trip, I decided to see if an old friend of mine, Ed (Flickr’s: OldWrangler), might be interested in joining me. I volunteered to take my old four wheel drive pickup truck and split the gasoline expense with him. We would each get an inexpensive motel room on the road to serve as “base camps” to hike, photograph, and explore back roads in the Four Corners area.

Not only did Ed accept but he also proposed that we take his brand new 4-door Jeep Wrangler instead of my old pickup truck. That didn’t ta

The Lorraine Motel in Memphis

The Lorraine Motel in Memphis

The Lorraine Motel in Memphis has played an important role in African-American history. Many black celebrities stayed at the Lorraine before the 1968 assasination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. The Lorraine became an integral part of the Civil Rights Movement. It is now the home of the National Civil Rights Museum. Here is the story of the Lorraine Motel.

The Windsor Hotel, at the corner of Mulberry Street and Huling Avenue near downtown Memphis, opened in the 1920s. Walter and Loree Bailey purchased the Windsor in 1942 and re-named it the Lorraine Hotel.

In the days of legal segregation, the Windsor / Lorraine was one of the few hotels in Memphis open to black guests. Its location, walking distance from Beale Street, the main street of Memphis’ black community, made it attractive to visiting celebrities. When Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, or Nat Cole, came to town, they stayed at the Lorraine.

Later, an annex, typical in design of motels built along America’s new Interstates in the 1960s, was added behind the original mustard-yellow brick hotel.

In March 1968, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King visited Memphis to support the city’s striking garbage collectors. He checked into the Lorraine, and led a march that, despite his policy of non-violence. turned violent. A second march was then planned.

On April 3, in a speech at Memphis Mason Temple, Dr. King said “We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to the mountain top. I won't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life.”

Dr. King was assassinated at the Lorraine the next night, as he stood on the balcony outside room 306, on the motel’s second floor.

The official account of the shooting named a single assassin, James Earl Ray, who fired one shot from the top floor of a rooming house whose rear windows overlooked the motel.

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27.10.2011. u 16:30 • 0 KomentaraPrint#

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