Hi to all and happy New Year!
During our Christmas vacation my family and I went looking for snow in Pinetree-Lakeside, AZ, but there hardly was any! Luckily my kids are only 3 and 4 and don’t need too much snow to have a good time, so we found a nice hill where we could sled up and down and we had a great time!
During the ride back to the hotel my husband and I decided to explore a little more of this area and drove to Fort Apache (that of course was closed for the holidays!). We had been told that the Kinishba Ruins were open and they were beautiful, so we decided to see what they were all about. Well, we were speechless by the beauty of the place.
As we walked along the path we felt like we were entering a completely new world where technology disappeared (there was no phone connection either!) and all we could breath was the beauty of nature. Also our kids were strangely quiet, mesmerized by the place we were visiting.
Let me tell you a little more about Kinishba. It was a large pueblo ruin containing nine masonry buildings constructed between 1250 and 1350 A.D. by the pre-Columbian Mogollon culture. The pueblo is situated on the upper end of a grass covered valley and originally had 400-500 ground floor rooms standing two or three stories high. At its peak, Kinishba may have housed up to 1000 occupants. The pueblo was vacated in the late 14th-early 15th centuries for unknown reasons.
Over the years, the site was pulled apart by pot hunters and soldiers from Fort Apache seeking souvenirs. In 1892 Adolph Bandelier, a pioneering archaeologist, was the first European to write about the site. From 1931 into the 1940s, Byron Cummings of the University of Arizona led a team of students and a varying workforce of 10-27 White Mountain Apache to excavate and restore the site. Cummings named the site, derived from the Apache words: ki datbaa, meaning “brown house.” He selected Kinishba for excavation because it represented in his words, “the highest development of the Pueblo culture”. These villagers were farmers who utilized arable lands sloping southeast to the White River for the cultivation of corn, beans, and squash. He created a university field school at the camp of the site. The site was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1964 by the Department of the Interior and added to the National Register of Historic Places. Since then, the ruins deteriorated without maintenance, as did the museum. A partial restoration was done in 2005-2007 to stabilize much of the site.
While walking around the ruins, this was the most amazing gift for us, horses walking freely in this beautiful place. One horse turned and looked straight at us for a very long time and I must admit I felt so small in that moment, like an ant, I felt like we were distrurning their peace just by being there because we didn’t fit in such an amazing place.
I wanted to share this little field trip with all of you because today we are so involved in our everyday routine, our new technology toys, our jobs and many more things that we forget where we come from. But at times it is truly energizing to immerse ourselves in the peacefulness of nature, take everything in and then we can start our everyday routine all over but with a new found balance. So for the New Year I hope all of you can find a beautiful place in nature where to reconnect yourself.
Happy New Year!!!
P.S. If you would like to go visit The Kinishba Ruins, they are is seven miles west of Whiteriver, Arizona, off AZ 73 on Fort Apache Indian Reservation. For more information call 520-338-4625.