Last weekend my dad took me along on his "Westerners" field trip through southern Utah and northeast Arizona. Our destination was Hopi Land, with several other stops along the way. It was an incredible trip and I felt very lucky to go with this group.
It was fascinating to learn about the Hopi people and their culture and beliefs. Many of the things I will have to remember in my heart since they do not allow photography in most places. These are 4th generation native American potters- so talented!
The absolute high-light of the trip was seeing a plaza dance where the kachinas were in their traditional ceremonial dress as they chanted and danced and made offerings while praying for rain for their crops. As we toured the mesas, we asked every artisan that we came in contact with if they remembered my Uncle Al who would bring cottonwood root to them so they could carve their symbolic kachina dolls. We actually did find one who did and dad bought a kachina from him. I feel like we came full circle! Al is the reason I became interested in the Hopi culture in the first place and I was excited to be able to go with my dad here!
Lee's fort in the Grand Canyon at Lee's Ferry. Thousands of years worth of human history are here in these canyons, and I was soaking in every bit that I could from the knowledgeable historians in the group.
It is hot in the Grand Canyon in June, and all I could think about was getting in that Colorado river. Two other guys on the trip jumped right in and after hesitating for about 30 seconds, I went for a dip- clothes and all!
The Lonely Dell ranch. John D. Lee lived here for some time, but it was his wives that really made this place thrive. Vegetable gardens and an orchard of fruit trees still grow today thanks to the preservation from park services. We sampled the apricots growing there.
Although I used to think that these trips my dad would go on sounded SO boring, I had a great time and learned that I actually do like to learn about history quite a bit. But most of all I will always treasure the memories and time I got to spend with my dad.