James OrndorfCochise County, Arizona, US
Maps By James Orndorf
The 2016 Monsoon has officially begun!
The North American Monsoon, otherwise known as the Mexican Monsoon or the Arizona Monsoon, is a pronounced weather pattern change over the Southwestern United States. It generally starts in early July and continues through mid-September.
This seasonal pattern change brings moisture up from the Gulfs of California and Mexico. This departure from the normal west to east flow decreases rain on the Great Plains and increases rain on the east coast. But most importantly, it brings the rains that bring the mountains and the deserts of the Southwest to life.
Named from the Ute Indian word for ‘deserted valley’ Hovenweep National Monument is a set of six Ancestral Puebloan village ruins dating from AD 900-1300 on the Great Sage Plain where Utah and Colorado meet near the Four Corners.
Wonderfully remote and quiet (no cell phone coverage, no wi-fi, one paved road) the monument averages only around 25,000 visits a year and the majority of them only to the Square Tower Group built around Little Ruin Canyon.
Some photos and a little history: http://goo.gl/P9kElI
500+ square miles of silent desert and deep canyons country where the Colorado and Green Rivers meet.
To quote Edward Abbey: ""the most weird, wonderful, magical place on earth—there is nothing else like it anywhere."".
Canyon Largo is a giant piece of BLM/public land 4 times the length of Manhattan, 50+miles long from the beginning (Blanco, NM) to the end where it meets up with the state highway.
The canyon is full of the remains of 3 cultures, the Anasazi /Pueblo people (1200 B.C. to A.D. 1300), Navajo and early Hispanic settlers. This is my favorite hiking spot. Quiet, endless, remote, surprising, harsh, beautiful and none of it paved.
As you drive down Highway 64 near Bloomfield, New Mexico and approach the Salmon Ruins you can hear an very old loop tape on your AM radio of Ricardo Montalbán explaining the mysterious history of the Ancestral Pueblo peoples (Anasází) of the Southwest.