A trip from 2012
Yesterday I posted the two photos I took on our 2012 trip to Homlovi State Park outside of Winslow Arizona. I always research potential day trips from the campground (or hotel) we are staying at. I had found this place called Rock Art Ranch. It was somewhat difficult to obtain information, but I finally discovered that on Saturday’s (usually but not guaranteed) at 1 PM, the owner of the Ranch would accept visitors and take you on a tour of the petroglyphs located on his ranch. We lucked out, he was receiving guest the Saturday we were at Homlovi.
After drive down a long dusty dirt road we reach Mr. Baird’s ranch. He opens the various buildings he has on this ranch which contain collections of exquisite Native American pottery, early American farmhouse furniture, and various knick knack collections. He shows us a newspaper article with a photo of him as a young boy with a gorgeous Native American pot that he had found while roaming around the ranch. I guess maybe that began his love for collecting this wonderful artifacts. His love for this ranch and the entire area was evident as he exuberantly told us stories of the old west and the wars between the ranchers.
After spending some time looking through his collections, he has us follow him across his ranch until we reach Chevelon Creek. At the creek he explains a little bit about what it was like to grow up on the ranch, and how the steps leading into the canyon came to be. There is a large structure where there a many picnic tables (this is the structure in the photo from yesterday’s post), which was great because we had come fully prepared with our picnic lunch. It was a bit eerie that we were the only two people on this tour, but at the same time it was wonderful we had this magical place all to ourselves. Mr. Baird told us that this was the end of the official tour, showed us how to get down into the canyon and said we could spend as much time down there as we liked. He even said if we had brought camping gear we could camp right there on his ranch. Since we only RV camp that would not have been possible, as the roads going across his ranch to this location were really not suitable for our Class C. But the fact that he is open to share this wonderful place with people renewed my faith in humanity. Mr. Baird then drove away. After we ate our lunch we descended the Chevelon Steps to the canyon below to find hundreds, if probably thousands of petroglyphs. All up and down this canyon, nearly everywhere you look you could find these carvings in the stone. We were able to explore this canyon at our leisure, something we often can not do on other hikes of this nature due to the usual crowed of visitors also trying to get a look or photo of the rock art. I don’t know how long we actually stayed, time seemed to stand still while we were in the canyon. This is a must see for anyone who enjoys this type of adventure, especially if you enjoy exploring in near solitude.