After dropping the Bronchuks at the shuttle for Phx, we planned how we could cram as much as possible into the next 24-36 hours for Matt, Emily and Mike and Pam. Matt and Em had plans to head to Monument Valley on the next afternoon, so decided on a hike and a couple of Jeep adventures.
We started with Soldiers Pass trail. This is a beautiful trail with several unusual features, like the Devil's Kitchen and the Seven Sacred Pools. It has great views of the canyon walls and meanders over the red rocks along a wooded path.
From there we quickly jumped into the Jeep for a ride to the Honanki ruins. These are a set of Sinaqua ruins that are maintained by the Pink Jeep tour company. There are no docents, just the guides from Pink Jeep. We had the impression that the Pink Jeep guide at the reception office thought that I was an illegal guide. (Maybe Pam saying that I was a great guide gave her that impression.) Anyway, she followed us all the way up the trail to the ruins, eavesdropping on us and pretending to sweep the path with a broom. Pretty weird.
The next morning, we got an early jump on the Pink Jeep tours that populate the Broken Arrow trail. We climbed Submarine Rock, got up to Chicken Point, went around the Carousel and then down the Staircase. We all had a great time and there was hardly any damage to the skid plates.
After Broken Arrow, Matt and Emily headed out for Monument Valley and the rest of us made a lunch to join Bill and Sarah on a search for ruins in a canyon near Honanki. It was an up and down sandy, trail for about a mile until we reached the old dead tree. This told us to go off the trail and climb to the base of the ruins, high up in the Loy Canyon walls. We stopped for lunch under a shady overhang.
After lunch a few of us tried to climb up to investigate the ruins. First we had to find the trail. After a couple of false starts we found a trail that climbed over some slick rock, then one would have to find which crevice to work through to get to the next level, etc. Needless to say we did not all make it. Mike was the only one to get to the ruins. The rest of us chickened out. Congratulations, Mike. Here is a photo of the cliff. If you click on the photo you may see the ruins beneath the overhang and just above the tree tops.