On Wednesday, we decided to check out another one of the many ruins in the area. It is called Honanki. It is another site occupied by the Sinaqua Indians about 1100 years ago. It is not in the same condition as the site of Palatki and it does not have a guided tour, but in some ways it is more interesting. There are perhaps a dozen remnants of homes nestled under the overhang of the cliff walls. You can walk along a short trail to go from home to home. There are also many pictographs that are hundreds of years old, as well. The trail up to the ruins was not as steep as Palatki as it winds through the brush and over and behind boulders to end up at the cliff dwellings. There is a very pleasant walk back to the parking lot.
Judy said that when I quickly agreed to go to Honanki, something else must have been up. In one of my off-road guides, I read that there was a Jeep trail next to the outhouses at the ruin. The person at the information booth said it was a well marked, relatively easy trail if one had enough clearance. That's all I had to hear.
This trail led up and down through the rolling hills around the red rocks. It had enough excitement to get the blood flowing and some unbelievable 360 degree views of the area. It led through some cattle ranches so there were plenty of cattle sitings. The guide said there would be some difficult sections and, once again, we thought we had gone through the difficult stretches when we actually hadn't. This photos shows what looks to be a difficult section, but actually was a breeze.
As we got further along this trail, we finally came to the more difficult part. The trail led over a large boulder and down into a dried creek bed. On the other side of the creek bed we could see a pile of rubble leading up a hill, but no real discernable trail. The rocks were pretty large but there was enough room to snake our way up the hill to find the dirt path.
This was a fun trail as there were great views, some easy parts and some difficult parts. Despite what the person at the information booth said, we saw no trail markers anywhere. We just kept taking lefts at all the forks in the road and made it back to civilization intact.
As mentioned, there were lots of cows out there. There were barbed wire fences that kept them on the ranch and the cattle crossings on the roads kept them from roaming down any streets. They seemed used to people and just stared at us and then slowly walked into the brush. What do you think these two are thinking?