Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Nice Hike

We went to a very satisfying church service this morning, at West Valley Christian Fellowship.  A traditional, but not stuffy service.  Wonderful organist: the offertory was "Jesus, Priceless Treasure" by Bach/Leupold, and it was beautifully played.  There was communion, which we were welcome to join and glad to do so.

This afternoon we went to the White Tank Regional Park, quite close by and hiked the Waterfall Trail.  The waterfall is present only when there is a heavy rain, so we knew we would not see it today.

The first part of the trail is quite level and leads to an area of many petroglyphs.  Very interesting to see and know that many hundred years ago the people in this area created those rock drawings.

The Hohokum people lived here until around 1400 A.D., and then disappeared.  The reason for their disappearance is not known.  But while they lived here they farmed using irrigation on their crops which were mainly corn, squash and beans.  They had no domestic animals, only dogs, so their meat was obtained through hunting.  They also gathered food from the wild surroundings.

They developed a method of etching shells to create beautiful jewelry, which they used in trading with other tribes, possibly for foods they didn't raise themselves, or other goods that they did not produce.

I have great admiration for those long ago people that they created a community and a culture from what was available around them.  Also that what they left behind was not a contaminated wasteland.

The trail gradually became steeper, but never
excessively so.  Just behind the rocks in the lower left hand corner of this picture is a small pool, the remnant from the waterfall.  Probably the nicest thing about making it up to this end of the trail was the shade from the rock cliffs, as it was a very warm afternoon, and we were sweating from the climb up to this point.

We enjoyed the place and then turned around and headed back down the trail.  This is the view from part way back down the trail.  The flat
valley lies ahead and just visible is a green
strip in the middle which is the area that is still farmed.  A great deal of what used to be
farmland is now devoted to housing, much of it 55+ communities for people like ourselves who want to get away from cold and snow.

There was a new Nature Center/Library at the entrance to the park.  I thought the Nature Center was more of a shop selling souvenirs than an actual interpretive center.  What I did enjoy was the many signs along the trail explaining the local flora and fauna, and also the history of the peoples in the area and the origin of the name "White Tank," which comes from the "tank" like depressions in the white rock which hold moisture at certain times of the year.

We enjoyed our hike very much and will return often to the park, as there are many miles of hiking trails here.  A nice bit of exercise on a warm afternoon!

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