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Rattlesnake - Perry Tank Canyon Ruin Loop
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mini location map2016-03-06
55 by photographer avatartibber
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Rattlesnake - Perry Tank Canyon Ruin LoopCamp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 06 2016
Hiking6.25 Miles 503 AEG
Hiking6.25 Miles
503 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
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Thanks Steve for putting this together. Thanks Wade for driving me and I was glad I got to enjoy the scenery by not driving. Thanks to Mike and Oli for spotting all sorts of cool stuff and staying behind with me a time or two and being excited for me that I found a somewhat obscure glyph all by myself :) . Mike gets the blue ribbon for the best glyph of the day though!

Now THAT was some rough off trail hiking, like atop Bluff Spring Mountain with the grass that hides the rocks that hides the cactus. And there was never a lasting moment of smooth hiking; quite the workout... kind of like hiking in sand. The day got off to a good start in the scenery department with a look-see at the windmill; it was short and stout and stocky but probably had to be to hold up those gigantic blades that were whirling around pretty fast.

We crossed to the southside of Perry Tank canyon and started heading west, no one sure of where we were going; well except Steve ;) . All we knew is that we were making a loop around part of this canyon/dry creek and would stop to visit some ruins and glyphs. I think it turned out much better than I imagined because we saw much more of what I expected with the first being an awesome glyph across the canyon that Mike found and most of us had to backtrack to see. And then back on our way until we got close to another rock cropping which had lots of glyphs and some metates scattered about as well.

Mike and Oli were like kids in a candy store as they went up, down, thru and around this area. Actually it was somewhat like hiking with a married couple as Oli would say come over here while Mike was still back investigating and photographing another site and Oli would say but this is better etc. They kept this enthusiasm up the entire time and this is from guys that see glyphs all the time. However, they were quite gracious in sharing their finds with me as I wander around a bit aimlessly. But all of a sudden we were separated from the rest of the group. I saw the rest of the group up on a ridge so started hiking that way, occasionally glancing around to see if there were glyphs on the rocky areas I would cross through.

I eventually caught up to the group as they were making their way to the first set of ruins. Really wasn't a lot there but there were the normal suspects of metates and manos and small rock walls and some glyphs and lots of sherds. The others went down to a lake that I didn't know was there as I arrived late so we then headed back, kind of the way we came but closer to the canyon cliff. I spotted a tank ahead but we would end up hiking past that but not before a stop at a rock outcropping were we saw lots more metates. The cloud cover was more deep now and it was windy and a tad chilly but as we headed back up the canyon and down toward the drainage, the wind seemed less.

We arrived at a pool of water where we had a quick break. I sat across from what I dubbed the glyph diver. There were quite a few glyphs on the wall at the other side of the pool.

Steve too would point out the less obvious where you could see a faint metate or glyph and told us about the agave gardens. Loved the info about the agave gardens that the Hohokam had made between settlements. I read:
The Hohokam moved volcanic rocks ranging in size from cobbles to boulders to the edge of the mesa. They heaped the rocks into piles and then planted agaves among them. No one knows for sure what advantages were to be gained from such techniques. It is suggested that the rock piles may have served to conserve precious moisture around the plants during the hot, dry summers or to provide a source of radiant heat during cold snaps in winter.

We then came upon the largest rooms of ruin that we would see. There were sherds everywhere. I walked all the way around before I realized no one else was really following. So I traced my steps back and saw Kelly on the ledge of the canyon. So I walked where she was at and then saw the others down on some other outcropping. I attempted to get down there but since the route wasn't obvious and others were crossing over below, I decided to give up on that venture.

As I was trying to get down to the area where everyone seemed to be heading I took a header :stretch: while trying to get over a rock and my face slid down a cane cholla cactus. Just not anything you can do when that motion begins. It's funny though as I try to recover from this type of event (2nd in two Sundays), it takes a bit to assess the situation and then arise to address it. In this case, the cholla needles sticking in my face. So I slowly felt around and removed the cholla as best I could and then started to head down to where Kelly was. I told her what happened and I think she pulled out a couple needles and then made me use her alcohol squares to my burning face which of course made it burn even more, ha!

Now Kelly kindly took me back to some glyphs they got to see as they had walked past where I had hiked down to at this point. Well that was a nice reward for my pain. Kelly stayed with me now until I crawled up off the canyon cliff side but not before seeing some more awesome glyphs. She got a great picture of me that I edited and posted up on FB; everybody loved my Vanna impersonation. It was a little tricky on this cliff side but we eventually got up to flat ground.

By this time, everyone realized Wade was MIA. I deduced right away that he had gone back to the jeep but I sent a text in case he had his phone with him. Wade was nursing a blistered foot from his 20 mile hike the past week. We eventually started to head back over this rocky terrain. Soon we would see Wade's jeep about 3/4 mile away. I considered hiking over to the jeep, there's beer, but johnlp said it was further than it looked so I continued with the rest of the gang as we looked for the road veering left, then right, then under a fence until finally we saw the vehicles.

And though the miles were few, the terrain a bit rugged, we got to see so much stuff :y: . Much more than I anticipated; such a rich ruin, metate, petroglyph, scenic environment. Thank you Steve, it was awesome! Good to hike with johnlp, trekkin gecko and Wade and Thx to Kelly for helping me out. Nice to meet the new folks too. I also got a nice education today.

Awh yes, the videos. Well I just finished with Dome Panorama videos so I'm probably a week away from posting videos for this event. 3-16-2016 and here are your videos:
the drive, Perry Tank Creek, the glyphing begins ... qbTM
continuing down canyon, first set of ruins ... v7jo
to the pool, down the creek to the tank ... Qx0Y
from the tank to the main ruins ... F2P4
main ruins and cliffside​ ... YRrI
Claret Cup Cactus
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For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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