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Sunday, December 16, 2018

Ceremony

At the western trailhead, Soledad Canyon
Just as Dr. K, Becca and I disembarked from "Whitey" the CR-V and started up the trail into Soledad Canyon we heard what sounded like the bugling of a bull elk; no elk at this elevation, though.  About a mile in we observed people sitting and kneeling on the trail ahead.  There were four of them--three men and an older woman--and they were engaged in some sort of ceremony or rite.  From appearances they seemed to be Native American, but they were praying in Spanish.  I heard the woman quietly mouth the word "Santo."  They didn't move, barely looking at us as we stepped around them.  We had trekked only a short distance beyond them when we again heard the bugling sound.  One of the men had a didgeridu-type wooden instrument and was pointing it skyward while making the bugle sound.  Becca was quite startled by the noise at first.  A bit further up the trail Dr. K and I saw the stone cross pictured below; we wondered if it was part of the ceremony.  Shortly thereafter we noticed the supplicants(?) coming up behind us.  As we branched off on the loop trail heading south the four people continued east further into the canyon.  We didn't see them again.  Their small ceremony comes just five days after the formal pilgrimage to the top of Tortugas Mountain to honor the Virgin of Guadalupe, and Dr. K and I wondered if the two events were related in some way.  We had a nice long hike on the Bar Canyon Trail and only encountered other people (two women and a man) who were starting their hike just as we were finishing up.
A few hundred yards up the trail

Sun through the clouds

Sun over The Chimney

Don't know if this cross was part of the ceremony we witnessed

Becca enjoying the very high desert

Not sure which type of tree this is

The formation I call "Casita Grande"

Distant view of Casita Grande and The Chimney

Deeper in

Closer view of Little Big House

Closer still

Following the loop trail into the higher elevations

Scoping the territory out

Leading the pack

Sun through Sotols

The way we came

Guess I was fascinated by the sun this morning

Slope filled with Sotols

Checking out the higher territory

Long way down to where we entered (gap at center)

Almost at the trail's apex

Casita Grande from the west side

I see forms and figures in those outcrops

Looking west from the heights in Soledad Canyon

Closer look at those distant mountains

1 comment:

Dr. K said...

I like the photos of the sun coming through the clouds--almost spooky.

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