Monday, February 19, 2018

Back West

It's been a little over 5 weeks since my last post. Sorry about that. I have not been as diligent in updating. We worked our way west stopping in Missouri to visit our good friend Adam. From there we went to Kansas, stopping in some amazing campsites, then on to Steamboat springs where I learned how to ski with one of my besties, Marissa. Sadly I have hardly any photos of any of that since my phone died while there. I have this one because someone else took it and sent it to me...

Midway through snowmobiling, SUPER FUN

We stopped in Colorado Springs for about two days to visit with Tanya (Josh was out of town) and to pick up a new phone I ordered. It was great to see her and the pups.

Playing with my new phone

From there we headed south into Santa Fe for a few days of exploring. Santa Fe had a good vibe except for the drivers... they were oddly aggressive for a place that otherwise seemed so chill. It was nice to see all the buildings the same color, it just blended nicely with the desert. I'm sure many would find it dull. We spent a day just walking around town, going to the farmers market and stopped in Kakawa Chocolate. If you are ever in Santa fe, and love dark chocolate, stop in! We got the most amazing hot chocolates, they were so rich you only needed a small amount... and we definitely went back before leaving town.

The joy of chocolate

Nambe lake, did a short 6 mile trail to get here but all in krampons and it was exhausting! but worth it

On our way out of Santa Fe we stopped in Kasha Katuwe Tent Rocks national monument. It was a short hike to explore it, had a blast.

We had a day in Phoenix and explored the Musical Instrument Museum. There were instruments from all over the world. It was phenomenal, way too much to absorb in one day, we stayed until closing and had to rush through the last of it. We also did a laundry and food shopping before heading out.

Our next stop was Wintercount! It is a primitive skills gathering held in Florence, south east of Phoenix. If you recall we spent a week at a gathering early on in our travels. It has been almost two years and we were craving some inspiration. We both had a fantastic week of learning, meeting new people and having wonderful experiences. We took a lot of different classes during the week, to name a few I did felting wool (made a pouch/clutch), pit to palate (cooking in the ground), did a Walkabout with David Holladay (one of the top 5 known survivalists) and Matthew did a moccasin making class, Flat fabric camping (using blankets and cordage to make your pack), and a pine pitch making class. Aside from classes during the day there are different events that go on at night, there was live music every night. Some of the evenings we just hung out by a quiet fire with the sounds of camp all around us. I don't have many photos, I started to take shots at the beginning of the week and then... just got distracted, didn't even think about taking photos.

 view from our campsite, sunset with teepees

 Starting a fire with song on the first day during morning circle

 pit for cooking

 Cooking salmon and steak on a ground fire, we also did potatoes and corn

drum circle with a few dancers and one of the last shots I took

The Mocassins on the left I bought from the guy that taught Matthew how to make his, on the right. The pouch with the saguaro I felted. The wool is from a sheep named freckles, I just love that.

The day we left, we went to Oak Flats campground which is on sacred ground for the Native Americans in the area. I get confused about the specifics but I know there were both Navajo and Apache there. They meet there every year and have ceremonies. This year they were looking for support to protest a mining company that wants to strip the land. We were honored to be there, I was able to witness a religious ceremony and we were greeted warmly. I learned about this from some others at the gathering. We stayed for a short time and talked to an elder that seemed happy to share some history with us and help us understand what was going on. It was interesting, we didn't really know what we were walking into but were glad we went.

We are now in Tucson staying with a friend we made at Wintercount named James. We are going to explore here for a few days then head up to the Petrified Forest national park then to Flagstaff. I feel like this really doesn't give you the full story of the past 5 weeks but it would just be too much all at once. Many amazing experiences... and more to come.