|Squaw Creek Ruins and ET 1 JEK, AZ|
|Squaw Creek Ruins and ET 1 JEK, AZ|| |
Squaw Creek Ruins and ET 1 JEK, AZ
|Hiking||2.84 Miles|| 4 Hrs 36 Mns ||2.30 mph|
|225 ft AEG|| 3 Hrs 22 Mns Break|
|This was my first hike on Perry Mesa, so I started out early, not knowing the road conditions on the mesa. I recommend maps, GPS tracks etc, just to get to the correct spot to start your hike, as the many roads on the mesa could really lead you astray.
For my first adventure, I chose a couple ruins that are waaaay south on the mesa. From I-17, it was a slow 18 mile drive to my chosen trailhead, which was about a mile short of Squaw Creek Ruins. (The roads were good enough that I could have driven right to Squaw Creek Ruins, but I wanted to wander around to and from the ruin.)
I visited a smaller ruin on the way to Squaw Creek. As usual, this ruin was very overgrown with vegetation, but the walls were very evident. It’s about 1/2 mile from the huge Squaw Creek ruins.
Even to this ‘ruins rookie’, Squaw Creek Ruins was easy to locate, as the flat, grass filled mesa gives way to a more raised and more dense vegetation representation.
Squaw Creek Ruins is huge, especially when you include the area that encompasses its outer rock walls on its north side. It appears it’s not just a dwelling with multiple rooms, but north of the rooms is a boulder-bordered area bigger than a tennis court, that possibly was used for raising crops or used for ??? (Again, I default to my ‘rookie-isim’).
What ever the function was of the open and cleared area, it had to be purposeful, as the ‘dwellers’ took alot of time and effort to clear it and build the wall.
Pottery sherds must number in the thousands. They’re all over the place, easily visible in that open, cleared area. The ruin is right on the edge of the mesa, with a foreboding boulder wall as its eastern border. The trek down to Squaw Creek for water etc, probably had a well worn path, as all humans don’t last long without water.
The exterior of that eastern boulder wall is where the majority of the petroglyphs were carved.
I trekked along the outer wall and viewed as many as I could locate, including a few that are pigmented in red. There are three “red” deer depicted, with a few other petroglyphs that still display a fading red hue.
Another reason I chose this ruins for my first PM adventure, was because there’s a benchmark inside the ruin. The benchmark’s name is ‘ET 1 JEK’.
(ET = Electronic Traverse, the ‘1’ is the first of a series of 5 benchmarks going east from here, and the ‘JEK’ is more than likely the head-surveyor’s initials). The #5 in this ET JEK series of USGS benchmarks is on W Cedar Mtn, which I located a few weeks ago.
The dusty drive back to I-17 was slow going but uneventful. I expect I’ll venture out on Perry Mesa many more times, as there’s so much to see.
I’m always amazed at how ‘hardy’ the occupants must have been, to handle this southwestern environment through all 12 months of a year. My ‘hat is off’ to all them.
|Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost|