Arizona adventures-festival of lights

“ Fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell not stuff to show.”

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For the past couple of years, my family and I take a road trip to the Besh ba Gowah archaeological site, about a mile away from Globe Arizona.

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This is an event I recommend to anyone visiting our state during the month of December. The event itself isn’t the only thing that is beautiful. The drive is as well.

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This drive even comes with a tunnel which we don’t really have a lot of here in Arizona.

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The Queen creek tunnel is 1,217 foot long (371m) and reminds me of some of the tunnels I remember when I was in Europe. There is actually a lot of history surrounding the whole area

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Every now and then we will come across warning signs to watch for falling rocks. Arizona is full of boulders.

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We got to the site a little early this year. The site is a 200 room prehistoric Salado masonry that sits up on a ridge overlooking the Pinal creek. It was occupied by the Salado population between AD 1225 and AD 1400.

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The name Salado comes from a term that comes from the Spanish name Rio Salado. Or the Salt River. It’s a term that archaeologists came up with to describe the people who lived around this area at that time.But we really don’t know what they called themselves.

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The Salado people were farmers, hunters and gatherers. They stayed in our area until climate change became too unbearable to survive in. Then they went separate ways to find better areas to farm and live in. A whole population kind of just disappeared and then a very looooooooooooooong time later, many, many, years later a bunch of archaeologist stood around scratching their heads wondering where everyone went and why, and then the fun started and they dug up beautiful pots and baskets and all kinds of treasures from the past that told a story to us all. Part of that story was that the Salado people were also artist it turns out.

I wanted to get some shots of the site in the daylight as well. Last year we came too late and I missed out on that.

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There were volunteers everywhere trying to get all the luminaries lit up in time for the event. They had over 5,000 candles to lite.

 

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I was able to explore inside the ruins this time when there was still a little light out. So strange but it turned out that my family and I plus a small handful of others were the only ones around for the longest time. It was like we had the whole place to ourselves.

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To be honest, when I read this it kind of freaked me out, little spooky. I looked down in that pit and stepped away because  it was pretty far down. So if you go to this event with small children then please hold onto their hands. We have only been here during the night time for the festival of lights, this is the first year I have actually read the signs all around.

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The pit. Don’t even ask me what this is, it just freaked me out when I first saw it like “What the heck is this?” I would not have made a good anthropologists. Good thing I am not. Thank you to all of you out there who are, you have discovered some cool, although sometimes weird things from our past.

Last year I remember there being hundreds of people around. Well, what happened was, was that there was a mix up at the bus stop where people were parking to be shuttled to the ruins.

We came very early and had a parking spot at the site itself but most people coming to this yearly event have to park miles away and be shuttled in. Last year the shuttle bus picked up people at the old train depot in town and this year it was at the old High School (remember that is the one that is apparently haunted).

Later after the event, late at night we drove by the old high school on the way back to the city and I looked up to the third floor and it’s huge glass windows everywhere showed one of the classrooms still had a light on in it, but the florescent lights kept flickering on and off like they were going out.

Just gave me goosebumps seeing that from the street down below. Creepy place that high school. Anyway, there was a mix up with transportation so we had the whole place mostly to ourselves as you will be able to see in the photos. Most of the people there were volunteers lighting up candles.

It is rare to not have elbow to elbow people around, but it does give all of you a better view of this beautiful event. For anyone out there who is a blogger that is bedridden and can’t get out as much, I especially hope you all enjoy these little adventures of mine. I do love sharing them with you all.

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It was still kind of dark inside even though there was still a little sunlight when I took this shot. As soon as the sun went down the bats started coming out from somewhere inside these rooms. It was like an Indiana Jones scene. I jumped back asking my son if he saw a bat fly down into my face and when he answered yes I said “Good, I rather have bats flying around me then spirits flying our of pits” this room was close to that pit so after that I stayed away from that spot. But really, how do we know they used that pit the way they say, we weren’t there. Probably just a really big blanket holder or a place to clean rugs.

It didn’t take long for the sun to go down.

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The candles had a very soft fragrance about them. I don’t remember them using scented candles last year so if you go to this event with children with ASD (autism spectrum disorders) and they have hyper sensitivities to scents then call ahead to see if they are using candles with fragrances which could cause melt downs. Also always go early before the crowds come in which can be a little overwhelming for some.

Photographers were everywhere this night.

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It is one the most beautiful sites I have ever seen. Over 5,000 bags filled with tiny candles.

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Here are just a few of the photos from that night..

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Remember, if you are here in Arizona, visit some of our ruins but please be respectful, they are so old and every generation should be able to enjoy their beauty.

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Also don’t forget to check out the gift shops in their museums. They have items in them that Native Americans make, and all kinds of things they sell for us all to enjoy.

Happy Arizona adventures everyone.

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I will be off for awhile but have pre-scheduled posts for you all to read. Thank you for your visits, comments and follows. Have a beautiful day where ever you are out there in the world and stay safe everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17 Comments Add yours

  1. Liz says:

    Beautiful photos. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Librarylady says:

    This is a great post, you’ve really covered the area well. Can you believe I’ve never been to Arizona? I’ve recently started doing more traveling in the U.S. I’ll have to put Arizona on my list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I will have to get back with you later on some tips when coming here, maybe I will do a quick post about that in the future. It’s a beautiful state but it can be rough and some people are very nice and some not so nice. Driving in the city can be a challenge here with road rage…just don’t give anyone eye contact when dealing with some of our drivers. Mostly that is in the summer when our temps are a little too hot. Best time to come is between Oct- May.

      Like

  3. erinshelby says:

    These pictures are great.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I wish I could have captured more of the beauty there, it was breathtaking. So many little lights in such an ancient place.

      Like

  4. Beautiful pictures, thank you for sharing your trip with your readers. I have never been to Arizona. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very welcome so happy you liked it.

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  5. That’s a beautiful event! And a gorgeous site. I would love to visit there! I’d never stop taking photos. I have to say, though, I always laugh at some of what archeologists say something was used for, because, like you said, we weren’t there and we don’t really know. I always imagine us going back in time and someone saying “Oh..is this there where you had your ceremonies to chase away the evil spirits?” and the people looking at them with confusion and saying “No. What the heck? This is where we gathered to have wild parties before we united two people in marriage. You people are freaks.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This made me laugh, so true. I know your photos if you were there, would have been beautiful.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, your photos were beautiful enough. I just loved seeing Them because I may never get there.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you Lisa, I need to get over to your site and check out your photos. I am spending today between organizing and de-cluttering trying to stop off and see what everyone is up to and there are so many to keep up with. My house is a mess right now and we are in the middle of making dinner.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. No worries! I haven’t been taking or posting many photos anyhow. Get things organized at home and relax 🙂 At the same time. Somehow. ha!

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    1. Thank you Robin. It was a very special day that I will never forget.

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