I had the opportunity to visit the ruins with a National Forest archeologist- we spent 2 hours walking the ruins and discussing the history of the site and talking about how the Forest studies and collaborates with other to protect historic sites across the Southwest. We also had the opportunity to see some artifacts that people had stolen and then returned to the Forest- pots that were 1000 years old. I can only dream that some of my art might last that long, let alone be appreciated for its beauty 1000 years from now. It was a cool opportunity to humanize the past, and appreciate indigenous management of our beautiful landscape.
I was out with Maricopa County Parks and Rec to help monitor saguaros post-2020 wildfire. Sadly, several of our tracked saguaros have died, which is expected, but still tragic. More will likely go down in coming years based on past research- even those that look pretty green.
We hiked up the historic road, down and up beach trail from the visitor center to Flat Rock and back, did the highpoint, and Guy Fleming grove. I was shocked to see that many of the trees I enjoyed a decade ago had been killed by drought and beetles.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.