Tuzigoot

Reminder: As most of you know, if you follow my blog, I write my blog for anyone that cares to read it, but I mainly write it for our daughter, Shantel, who is totally blind, as a documentation of our lives. Of course, I can’t leave Shantel a photo album of our lives, so when she was just a baby, I started documenting our daily lives, the good, bad, and ugly, as a way for her to look back on our lives, from the time she came into our lives, right through mine and Bill’s golden retirement years. My blog is my gift to Shantel, but I hope you enjoy taking the journey with us too.

So much to see and do in Camp Verde and the surrounding areas. Like Tuzigoot. It’s an Apache word for “crooked water.”  The information sheet we received for Tuzigoot says it is ” the remnant of a Southern Sinagua village built between 1000 and 1400. It crowns the summit of a long ridge rising 120 feet above the Verde Valley. The original pueblo was two stories high in places, with 87 ground-floor rooms. There were few exterior doors; entry was by ladders through roof openings. The village began as a small cluster of rooms inhabited by some 50 persons for 100 years. In the 1200’s the population doubled, and then doubled again. No one knows why the Southern Sinagua migrated away from their pueblos by the early 1400’s. It may have been overpopulation, depletion of resources, disease, conflicts within or between groups, climate change, or perhaps spiritual beliefs. Whatever the reasons, many Southern Sinagua likely migrated northward to pueblo villages. Others may have stayed in the Verde Valley and returned to hunter-gatherer ways.”

Like Montezuma Castle, Tuzigoot just amazes me when I think about what all it took for the people that lived here to build these dwelling places. Our tour guide told us they actually had to go up and down this hill, in an assembly line fashion, to gather the rocks from the bottom of near-by mountains. Then they had to go into the mesquite trees, shown in the picture, and cut wood that they would mix with water (that they had to carry from the river) and mud to create a “glue” to hold the rocks in place as they created each room or dwelling place…

While some of the inside rooms were actually used for eating, sleeping etc., many of the outside rooms were used to store food, animal hides, tools etc., that they needed for everyday life. They also had rooms that were used for meeting places and ceremonial celebrations.

In addition to using the wood from the mesquite trees, shown below, for making the glue that held the rocks in place, the leaves and seed pods of the trees were used for food and to make teas. They would grind the seed pods and make mesquite flour, and brew the leaves for tea.

The picture below is of an outside fire pit that might have been used for warmth, or outdoor cooking.

The next picture is a stone that was used to grind corn and other grains for food. Our guide reminded us that when you see these stones, that are usually somewhat hollowed out in the middle from years and years of use, you have to remember that the stones are not just found that way. No, the people actually had to take another stone, and slowly, day-by-day, they would grind one stone against the other to make that hollowed impression to grind their corn… What determination, and strong will to survive…

As I walked through the remains of this amazing place, it was hard not to think about the strong people that once lived here, and what it took for them to build this place, and the struggles they must have faced just to live out their daily lives here.

The only things that live here now, are the critters that roam where they will… Like this little baby lizard, that ran out from under the bush, to bid us good-bye!

Bill and I are so enjoying our time here. This is the first time, since we started this full-time RV living gig, that we are taking a full month off from hosting/work camping, just to relax, and see what full-time retirement life, without a schedule, really feels like. So far, so good…

Stay Tuned!

 

 

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bill
    Apr 30, 2017 @ 22:23:28

    What amazed me is the tribe had to get most of the rock from a mountain miles away.
    Love you.

    Reply

  2. Lucie
    Apr 30, 2017 @ 22:51:38

    Both you and Bill deserve this time to enjoy. I thank you for giving us a glimpse of your lives. I have always been grateful spending birthdays and holidays with you throughout the years. I know you will have many more adventures and thank you in advance for sharing. Love you very much.

    Reply

  3. gotham girl
    May 01, 2017 @ 02:02:04

    In a very small way reminds me of Machu Picchu! Gosh…been years since I’ve visited Tuzigoot!! Glad you all enjoyed your tour

    Reply

  4. gotham girl
    May 01, 2017 @ 02:03:27

    It’s me again…something happened…so I’m back! Love that you are both just relaxing and enjoying your time! Take it all in and just ENJOY! Love you!

    Reply

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