Some years ago when I lived in Arizona, I decided to take a Sunday drive. I was in no hurry, so I took the regular city streets, staying in the slow lane so as not to annoy the folks that weren’t on a Sunday drive. Taking a city road, I headed north thinking that it would be a great adventure to drive till there wasn’t anymore city. I figured that eventually I would wind up in the desert. I passed the city limits, saw the outskirts of suburbs and continued through to a little old west town named Carefree.
You have to slow down when going through Carefree because the wide road gets smaller, lots of people are crossing the streets from shop to shop and the road gets winds back and forth. If you ever get a chance, go to this town. It will put a smile on your face that just grows bigger and bigger because it’s like being in a quaint wild west town – that has had a few renovations and a few new buildings.
I didn’t stop though as I was on a mission: how far out do I need to go to be out of civilization and find the desert. That question was answered right out of Carefree. I was just driving, taking in the sites, going around the curves in the road when I saw a large sign that blended right in with the surroundings of the natural desert colors. I almost missed it: Tonto National Park (just a 40 minute leisurely drive north out of the city was the desert).
I went winding around curves and hills till I saw an even smaller sign for the Sears-Kay Ruins. Oh boy, thought I, Indian ruins. So I turned onto the little road to go in search of the great find.
The first thing I noted when taking in the place was that there were huge, curious rocks that were shaped unusually. Several rocks like this were scattered around the hills that lead up from where I stood. I perceived them as guardians.
After reading the legend for the Sears-Kay ruins, I couldn’t seem to find the path that lead to the ruins.
Looking right and left, I finally saw that most folks in the area had headed off to the right. I thought it was odd that there wasn’t a beaten path and I had to climb through a gully to get to another path which led to yet another larger path, but climb I did.
Once onto the larger path, I headed in the general direction of the other hikers in the area.
Admiring the new large rocks I saw – there was a group of boulders together that looked to me like a family, parents, a few children – large rocks and smaller ones but close knit.
At one point the climb was dangerous. As I was going uphill, the sandy ground was slipping away beneath my feet.
Finally I got to the top – as other hikers were going down – thinking that I finally made it. Walking around between cactus and more rock clusters, there were NO RUINS.
Looking around on all sides of the hilltop, for miles around, I could not find a single place that looked like ruins.
Perplexed I skidded my way down the hillside, back down through the gully (which seemed very dangerous and scary) to where I parked.
I marched myself right back to the legend where a very puzzled couple stood, shaking their heads while trying to find the ruins.
It was a mystery that we shared.
It was then that I realized what a hoax was being played on us by the ‘guardians’ – those alive looking rocks that I saw.
I realized that the spirits of Indians were still in the area protecting their land from intruders – as they had done for ages past.
I acknowledged them.
I looked right at those magnificent huge guardian rocks and said “well done” and looking back towards the legend, I saw clearly the path that led towards the ruins.
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