http://www.blogger.com/html?blogID=4316350785635987648 Cave Dwellings: BRRRRR!! WE ARE GETTING SOFT!

July 4th , 2016

July 4th , 2016
Den and me

Monday, January 18, 2010

BRRRRR!! WE ARE GETTING SOFT!

We had another pretty sunrise here at Hickiwan.  It seems we are lolling too long in the mornings to catch many. This morning I could tell it might be a colorful sunrise by the pink I was seeing through our day shades at our big bedroom window. I quick leaped out of bed and got my camera. This picture was taken while peeking from under our shade to shoot the photo without sacrificing my privacy....not easy.

...OK, maybe not my best shot, but hey...I was in an awkward position, so to speak.
Actually, the temp only got down to 52 degrees last night, but the wind was a'blowing this morning! We managed to put off walking our 2 miles until we had downed a sufficient amount of coffee to keep our blood warm. It wasn't that it was so cool, but the wind was reminiscent of the ones we get in Illinois off Lake Michigan!!
After our lunch (a soup kind of day), we drove into Ajo, armed with camera and credit cards in  hand...Shopping for some trinkets from Ajo and maybe do some sightseeing...Unfortuately, it seems we forgot that today was a holiday, so quite a few stores were closed. Not to be dissuaded from a few photos we took these in the Ajo Plaza..                                                                                                                                  



        We ran up to the grocery store while we were in town. Thursday we will be headed the almost 90 miles up to the WalMart in Buckeye, a suburb of Phoenix, and I wanted to make crockpot beef veggie soup. I figured that it could cook all day while we were gone and be an easy supper. 
When we did the Ajo Loop last week, we came out on a sidestreet that had a house with some  kind of crazy sculpture on the side of it, so we made it a mission to find it again...We did....and here it is....

       I saw a small sign in front saying "Lizard Hats" and something about artwork. I assume an artist lived there and had his business there also. We didn't stop, not knowing what we were getting into, but I got this shot "".
Since it was a rather quiet day, and we were on the street that goes up the hillside to the Ajo Museum, we figured that a stop there was a good way to spend the rest of the afternoon.
 Here is the museum...It was originally St. Catherine of Sienna Catholic Mission, built in 1942 with Indian labor. It was an integral part of what was called "Indian Village" that was at this location, and consisted of more than 125 homes....

          ...In 1972, with the open pit copper mine advancing on "Indian Village", the Franciscans decided to close the mission and the property reverted back to Phelps Dodge...Much of the village was then vacated. The building was purchased by the Ajo Historical Society in 1975...
There were some unique antique (did I just say that?) mining artifacts sitting outside the museum.. Here is an old wagon....

  ...I took a photo of the sign explaining what it was used for...I knew I would never remember....

   ...and this is old ore train car used to transport the ore out of the mine....

   Somehow I managed to find an old miner to stand in front of it...(tee hee). There was what appeared to be some kind of grave or shrine up on the hillside. I took a photo of it and figured I would ask someone inside who it belonged to...As it turned out, we got such a history lesson and guided tour from a gentleman named Jim that I forgot to ask.....

...Here is Jim from Pennsylvania....He is a retired Biology professor, whose father was a coal miner, and Jim knew just about EVERYTHING about mining...and a lot about most of anything you could ask him...

Jim walked with us throughout the museum and we got a "one on two" private tour ....all for a "donation" of your discretion....I kid you not, he knew tons of fascinating info! For instance, I thought these strange things were gords, but Jim said they were called "Cactus Tumors", that grew up around the base of cactus. Jim said the Indians used them to transport water...very cool....


...they were hollow and would easily hold liquids...There were samples of period clothing from the 1800's, an old dentist chair and dental equipment from the mining company dentist..I was hanging on Jim's every word until he held up a large jar full of old teeth....some that the tooth fairy missed, I guess..They were in some kind of liquid....I assumed it was formaldehyde...and if there was one, there were 400. ( I felt like I was in one of those contests where you had to guess how many in the jar)....More knowledge than I need....Let's move on to the pottery in the case, Jim....(and no, I didn't take a picture of the jar of teeth)
There was some pottery indigineous to the Tohono O'odham Native Americans in the case. This is an O'odham Friendship pot, done by a local potter...


....and here is an old piece of pottery

...as you can see, it is of the Hohokam tribe, whom the Tohono O'odham Indians are descendants of...We walked through what use to be the sanctuary of the mission and into the old priest's quarters. Here were more mining artifacts....This next picture is of what they called "chicken ladders"...

Now let me tell how Jim explained it....The Jesuits kept mining records back to 1724, when the Spanish ran the mines and the Indians mined for them. These "ladders" were made from a mesquite log that was notched out in spots for climbing. They sent the Indians down into the mines on one of these and a crude leather bucket. The Indians would carry the ore out of the mines in these buckets on a "bucket strap" that tied around their head...Many never made it out....
 Well, we had a great tour from Jim and we left our donation in the jar..and more...I purchased a few postcards for friends and family...We drove back down the hillside and this is the view of the mine we got from the museum/mission as we went down...


Before we left town I wanted one more photo....This is the Curly School, built in 1919, and is the most photographed school in Arizona...You can see why.....


I think I have rambled on and on long enough...We got back at our little "home in the desert" about 2:30PM and now it is almost 4:30PM...a long blog...I did stop long enough to receive a skype from our daughter in Indianapolis so I could see my grandson, Aiden, who is just starting to talk at 15 months  old....I miss all the grandkids (we have 4), but we can see them all on our webcam...great invention!! OK, I promise I will finally sign off. ..More tomorrow...of what I don't know yet....
                                                                       

1 comment:

  1. Ohhh... Lizard Flats is the home of Michael.... aka Meanderings of Wanderwolf... he is a Vietnam Vet, a great artist and quite a fellow. You should stop by and see him. We had a great visit with him last year.
    Kelly

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