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Photos From Around The World

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Video's of Jim and Marie

Automatic Cattle Roundup   A You Tube video on a roundup of a few of his cattle.   A visit to Sandal House an ancient ruin in the Ute Mountain Tribal Park near Mesa Verde, Colorado.  A video of Jim and Marie in a balloon crash into trees Kenya, Africa. Balloon Crash

 

   

 

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Los Lunas Decalogue Stone and Hidden Mountain

The Decalogue Stone sits below a 700 foot cliff at the base of Hidden Mountain.  Marie and I climbed up in a V shaped extremely steep wash to get to the top.  The mountain is nearly flat on top with a 360 deg view in any direction.  The boulders and cliff tops are littered with petroglyphs and collapsed rock ruins.  We hiked a full circle of the top which is about a mile long and a half mile wide.   We found a Greek inscription on a basalt boulder and more ruins and saw a Phoenician Tanit symbol just below the cliff face on the north side.  There were between 20 and 30 abandoned ruins which were obviously not of  the Ancestral Puebloen style.  I wonder if they were of Jewish or Phoenician origin?

   

 

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Tome Hill

On a recent climb to view several of the 1800 Petroglyphs on Tome Hill I think I saw a Phoenician Tanit symbol.  I reviewed several of my photos taken on a recent climb and think one of them reveals a Phoenician Tanit symbol but will have to make another climb to be absolutely certain.  It's not much of a stretch to think that the Phoenicians could have traveled from Hidden Mountain to Tome Hill a couple of thousand years ago.  This of course is valid only if the Hidden Mountain Decalogue Stone and the Tanit symbols are not a hoax.

   

 

 

 

From The Beginning

 
 

Laguna Pueblo Dancer at Pueblo BonitoI began taking photos in 1967 during the Viet Nam Era. The photos were of everyday activities both on the ground and in the air during the years 1967File:1st Cavalry Division - Shoulder Sleeve Insignia.svg and 1968.  It was generally referred to as the year of the "Tet Offensive".  The quality of the pictures has certainly improved over the years primarily due to sophisticated equipment and superb photo editing software.  I have owned many cameras over the years but my Canon 7D has been my favorite.  I prefer to take pictures of landscapes and animals which will become evident when you peruse the various galleries scattered throughout my web site.

 

Marie and I travel as much as our budget and time will allow, traveling to out of the way places and some that would be considered down right dangerous and others extremely strenuous. We have recently been visiting 1900's  Wetherill Trading Posts in the Chaco Canyon, New Mexico area.  Some of these trading posts are so remote it is a four hour back packing trip over some of the most rugged terrain in the Southwest. I suspect the quality of my pictures have more to do with the camera, software and the places we've been rather than my skills.  I've found that the great pictures were a matter of luck and just happen to be at the right place at the right time.

 

We've recently taken up hiking to places that are a little out of the way and climbed mountains that only the fearless or nuts would attempt.  The photos of these trips have turned out to be exceptional and again related to luck and being at the right place at the right time.  We've found places that are way off the beaten path and not generally known but to a few people that take the time to investigate these truly bizarre areas, landscapes, plants and animals.

 

I've tried to group the pictures into sensible categories related to areas of the world, areas of the United States,  or seasons.  The photos within the section called Photos is a collection of the best photos and limited in quantity.  Sections within this web site that have hyperlinks are to all pictures but not necessarily quality photos but of some interest. 

 

The Four Corners

 

Arizona:

The area around Monument Valley is one of the premier photo sites in Arizona.  Near the Monument are two of the largest Ancestral Puebloan ruins in the state, Keet Seel and Betatakin each discovered by the Wetherill brothers, Richard and John in 1895 and 1909.  Both ruins are accessible by hiking down a thousand foot cliff and a several mile hike one of which is about five miles round trip and the other about 17 miles.  

 

 

Montezuma Castle is one of three large cliff dwellings in Arizona.  Richard Wetherill visited here while guiding the Palmer family on an exploratory expedition in 1895.  When Richare left the Alamo Ranch guiding the Palmer familythey first arrived at Chaco Canyon after a six day journey from the Alamo Ranch in Colorado. The Palmer Montezuma Castle, Arizonafamily d  camping near the great ruin of Pueblo Bonito , spending more than a month exploring leaving   He excavated several skeletons here that had been over looked by previous excavations.  Richard was an experienced amateur archeologists and knew where to look.

 

 

 

 

Colorado

Mesa Verde near Mancos Colorado has some of the largest and best preserved Ancestral Puebloan ruins in the United States.  One of these, Cliff Palace was discovered by Richard Wetherill his brother-in-law Charlie Mason and Acowitz, a Ute Tribal member inCliff Palace, Mesa Verde, Colorado December of 1888.  The group had entered the valley system between Weber Mountain and what is now Mesa Verde National Park, following the North side of the Mancos River searching for missing cattle.  West of Sandal House they found a gentle sloping area that gave them access to the top of the Mesa Verde from the river valley floor.  The area was a dense Pinon Pine and Juniper forest which made searching for cattle difficult.  When they reached the edge of a cliff and exited  the forest they viewed a huge ruin Sandal House, Ute Mountain Tribal Park, Coloradothat Richard later called Cliff Palace.  After entering the ruin that day Richard rode to another large ruin he called Spruce Tree House.  This episode was to begin a life long endeavor for Richard and his family.  Because of the families future activities it resulted in the formation of three National Parks, two National Monuments and the discovery of a new culture and collections of artifacts which were distributed to museums of world wide fame.

 

 Sandal House which is on the South side of Mesa Verde National Park in the Ute Mountain Tribal Park.  It can only be reached by hiring an Ute Tribal member as a guide.  It is about an hours drive from the Ute Mountain Tribal Park headquarters on a fairly rough road.  During the rainy season it is accessible only by a four wheel drive vehicle.  Sandal House was one of the first ruins that was entered by Richard Wetherill in 1882.  He left a signature and note in pencil on one of the walls which is still visible today after more than a hundred years.  It was here that he guided the Palmer family which included his future wife Marietta Palmer in 1895.  The Palmer's parked their wagon in a grove of native trees below the ruin where they stayed for two weeks.  Richard had taken an interest in the young Marietta and made several trips to Sandal house.  He would tell the family that he was just riding by and wondered if they needed anything.  The ruin was actually called First Ruin but was named Sandal House by Richard after excavations revealed many sandals.  A collection of artifacts was made here in about 1889 by the Wetherills and sent to the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893

 

 

 

New Mexico:

This state is one of the best kept photographers secrets on the planet. Nowhere can such  diverse geological landscapes be found.  Extinct volcanoes, lava flows, bizarre rock formations of Tent Rocks National Park and the BistiTent Rocks, New Mexico Badlands, Carlsbad Caverns and the White sands of White Sands National Monument can all be found in New Mexico. New Mexico has eight climate zones with temperatures that range from minus 50 degrees to 122 degrees Fahrenheit with all the plants associated with those ranges!

 

Utah:

 The area around Monument Valley is alsoArches National Park part of Utah and offers excellent photographic opportunities as well as Arches National Park.  It preserves over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, like the world-famous Delicate Arch, as well as many other unusual rock formations. In some areas, the forces of nature have exposed millions of years of geologic history.  The extraordinary features of the park create a landscape of contrasting colors, landforms and textures that is unlike any other in the world. 

 

 

 

Rainbow Bridge was first seen by John and Louisa Wetherill from the top of Navajo Mountain in 1907.  They heard rumors about the grand arch from local Navajo's.  When Sharky, a local tribesman suggested he knew where theRainbow Natural Bridge, Utah bridge was and would take them there the Wetherill's were delighted.   He guided them to the top of Navajo Mountain Southeast of the bridge where they were able to view it.  John Wetherill led the 1909 Cummings and Douglass group, on an expedition to Rainbow Bridge, consisting of the rival but combined parties of University of Utah archaeologists Byron Cummings and U. S. government surveyor William Boone Douglass.  After a difficult journey and arriving at the bridge, the Cummings and Douglass group each claimed  credit, and the controversy as to "who was first" has continued to the present.  John Wetherill actually led this group to Rainbow Bridge to allow Bryon Cummings to be named as discoverer.  It was by an unfortunate turn of events that the difficult and recalcitrant Douglass was allowed to tag along.  When John Wetherill knew the group was approaching the bridge he allowed Cummings to become the lead and viewed the bridge first.  It was not unusual for John Wetherill to allow his benefactors to claim discovery on expeditions into Navajo country.

 

 

East Africa

  • A Safari to East Africa which began in Nairobi, Kenya and included two game sanctuaries. Both sanctuaries are suffering from severe climate change. There are two rainy seasons, one long and one short.  Neither seasons have produced normal rainfall which has produced dry river beds and in one case a total absence of grass. One of the photos in this album shows elephants digging in a dry riverbed for water. All the photos taken of the grasslands should have shown green grass at that time of year but all are Brown due to lack of moisture. Click here to see animal photos of the Safari. Click  here to see bird photos of the Safari

Links

Wetherill Family 

  • I'm the Web Master for the Wetherill family web site which has many interesting stories and fascinating people.  The Wetherill family were responsible for the discovery of many Ancient Puebloan Ruins at Mesa Verde , Colorado, the discovery of Rainbow Natural Bridge, the discovery of Betatakin and Keet Seel, two of the largest Ancient Puebloan Ruins in Arizona and were the first to recognize the Basketmaker culture.  They were some of the first explorers of Southwestern Native American Cultures in the Four Corners area.  You will find families of considerable wealth and prestige or those that were contributors to the development of this country.  Several of the allied families arrived with Juan de Onate in New Mexico in 1598.  Many descendants of these families still live in the same communities established during that time.  Descendants of Benjamin Kite Wetherill and Marion Tompkins Wetherill can claim Daniel B. Tompkins as a cousin.  He was Governor of New York and Vice President of the United States under Monroe.  Descendants of Marietta Palmer Wetherill can claim Ulysses S. Grant, eighteenth President of the United States as a cousin.

Garcia  Family

  • The Garcia family of Tome' , New Mexico has extensive history in New Mexico beginning in 1601 with the arrival ofGarcia Brand 1899 Antonio Baca number 98 of the Juan De Onate expedition. Many members of this family were major contributors to the economic, spiritual, and educational development of New Mexico.  Several of the seven farms owned by the Garcia family were in existence and adjacent to, the Tome' land Grant of 1739. 

    One of the livestock brands owned by Garcia Family is over 100 years old and still used today.  The brand was issued prior to 1899 when New Mexico was a territory and 13 years before statehood.

    The family Patriarch , Casimiro Garcia "Casey" organized the eight farms into the organization it is today.  His son Mark Garcia operates the farms today with his brother Ray Garcia.  His daughter Marie Garcia Shaffner former superintendent of Schools in Belen, New Mexico, is the family Historian, advisor and "Peacekeeper."

    The family Matriarch, Erlinda Sanchez Garcia "Lindy" organizes activities on the farms as head bookkeeper.  She also coordinates the preparation of meals for the various crews and checks humidity levels for baling preparation.  She is the sixth great-granddaughter of Juana Lopez de Aragon.  This family is considered to be one of the twelve founding families of Albuquerque.

 

  • MTI-USA.com  Descriptions of every state in the United States with travel information.