Thursday, April 17, 2008

Cool desert stuff

So in the past couple weeks, I have been insanely busy at work getting ready to launch a new digital collection so the blogging has kind of gone by the wayside. But, there are a couple of cool things that we've learned about or seen in the desert lately:

Extra points to those of you that already know what the heck an atlatl is...good job, you either know your history or were a mammoth hunter in a previous life. I, myself, just starting learning about them when Aaron looked up the World Atlatl Association and we went to Valley of Fire State Park to watch them compete at Atlatl Rock. The atlatl is prehistoric weapon that consists of an atlatl (thrower) and a dart and it has been a remarkably successful tool for man through the centuries. Aaron ended up meeting the World Atlatl Accuracy Champion of 1998 and got a few lessons before he bought his own starter dart and atlatl. In addition to interests in traditional archery, fiddling, and occasionally throwing the atlatl, the folks at the competition were very laid back and friendly. It seems to be a relaxing hobby, as Aaron says, "kinda like an ancient pub game".

We also recently took a drive over to Sedona and camped out in Oak Creek Canyon. On the way back we drove to Tuzigoot National Monument and toured the ruins, which are very cool and worth a look. We also drove through the historic town of Jerome, perched on a cliff above Sedona. Very cool, but watch your's a long way down!

Probably the coolest thing we saw in the desert was near Clarkdale, AZ on the way back to Vegas. Walking along the two-lane highway was a woman on horseback, pulling another horse along behind. Riding slumped over the saddle, perfectly balanced and smiling, was an Australian shepherd hitching a ride home. It was really cute and a glimpse of the West still alive and kicking.