Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Long Day And A Roundtrip

The day began with an overcast sky, but soon we saw the sun peeking out. Our plan was doing a roundtrip via Globe, the Roosevelt Lake and the Apache Trail. If one starts early it can be done. So we did start early.
From the campground we continued Hwy 60 to Globe. It leads through the town of Miami, which is another town with a lot of mining history. I might get back to that in a later posting, but for now I just hustle on.
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At Globe we turned onto Hwy 188 which ultimately runs up to Payson. We followed it to the Roosevelt Lake only, before we headed up the unspeakable road, the big Arizona attraction which we had never seen before – the Apache Trail.
We have a slow internet connection out here, so I will get back to the Apache Trail in a separate posting.

When coming down to the Roosevelt Lake we turned off to the Tonto National Monument. The monument is showcasing cave dwellings of the Salado People.
We did not walk up there today as we have seen similar dwellings several other places. But here is a little background for Tonto:

The well-preserved Lower and Upper cliff dwellings were occupied during the 13th, 14th, and early 15th centuries. The people farmed in the Salt River Valley and supplemented their diet by hunting and gathering native wildlife and plants. They were fine craftsmen, producing some of the most exquisite polychrome pottery and intricately woven textiles to be found in the Southwest. Many of these objects are on display in the Visitor Center museum.

1-DSC_0147 Tonto Basin is one of several areas in the Southwest associated with the “Salado”, a term that has invoked archeological debate since the 1930s. The basin is located between the desert-dwelling Hohokam to the south and ancestral Puebloan groups of the mountain areas to the north and east. The geographic area contains a variety of architectural styles and material culture that represent both Hohokam and ancestral Puebloan traditions. For example, both architectural styles are sometimes found within single sites, suggesting close mixing between the two groups. Recent research suggests that the intermixing of these two groups may have occurred in the late 13th century to the middle part of the 15th century when Tonto Basin was depopulated. Site types in Tonto Basin include field houses, room blocks, compounds, platform mounds, and cliff dwellings like those found in the Monument.


In addition to archeological evidence, oral traditions of at least six affiliated tribes add ancestral ties to the Salado.

Wind and rain, as well as disturbance by rodents and humans have caused dwelling walls to fall and ceilings to crumble over the last 600 years. Archeologists have devoted many hours to excavating and stabilizing rooms in both the Lower and Upper Cliff Dwellings.

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Continuing on Hwy188 we finally reached the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge. It is a beautiful construction spanning over part of the lake just behind the dam.

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From here we started on the Apache Trail. But that story you need to wait for until tomorrow.

Meanwhile, thanks for stopping by!


  1. Looking forward to hearing about your trip down the trail. Should be interesting. Great pictures.

  2. A great adventure today, thanks for sharing.


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