This is a MEMBERS ONLY Carpool trip limited to 16. A WaitList is available if this excursion fills up.
We will meet at 8:45 AM at the Shell Station in the Home Depot lot, 2010 N Beeline Hwy/Route 87 in Payson. The first Stop is only 15 minutes from Home Depot.
Stop 1. Goat Camp Ruins—An active dig in Payson
Archaeologist J. Scott Wood and volunteers from the Rim Country Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society have been excavating a portion of this six acre site for the past several years. Scott Wood will be there to explain and answer questions. Originally a Hohokam colony, this site was occupied continuously from around 750 to 1280 CE, into the Northern Salado Period. Now owned by the city of Payson, it will serve as an archaeological interpretive site once the excavations are complete, with hiking trails within the complex. Scott will talk about his finds in this fascinating place. Site is an easy access from Tyler Parkway, a short easy walk from the road up to the ruin.
Stop 2. 13 Turtles--Pictograph at Flowing Springs
There are six white pictograph panels on the vertical walls and ceiling of the grotto, in a shallow rock shelter overlooking the East Verde River. The 13 turtles painting, the most striking of the pictographs, is located high on the ceiling. Possibly a lunar calendar, but it has never been investigated. Easy access from Flowing Springs Road, with a slight walk uphill to the overhang.
Optional Stop 3. Buckhead Mesa Petroglyphs - Above the Tonto Bridge State Park
Those who still have energy can continue on to see these petroglyphs. On a high ridge with a view of the western sky, there are numerous petroglyphs on scattered boulders within this protected site. One location has a curious placement of concentric circles, likely to be a solar calendar. Access is via a dirt road off the Tonto Bridge road, with about a mile walk of a slight incline over many small ankle-breaker basalt rocks. Bring poles, water, hat etc. for your safety and comfort.
After the outing, for those interested, we will gather for dinner at the Old County Inn, 3502 N Hwy 87, in Pine, a destination restaurant, renown for its wood-fired pizzas and local brews.