Countdown to #TryingStuffInJordan

I leave for Jordan with Columbia Sportswear and the #omniten in ONE WEEK!!!

Columbia’s making sure that we’re going to have great social media access with smart phones over there so the 3UpAdventures Instagram account will come out of hybernation while I’m there and I’ll be tweeting as we have a blast #TryingStuffInJordan.

On top of the awesomeness from Jordan, I’ve lined up some awesome Guest Posts about #TryingStuff for you all while I’m gone!

jordan flag

New Mexico Scenery

After our antler hunting adventures, it was time to press on north towards Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The open spaces of New Mexico are so appealing and I snapped lots of photos along the way!

New Mexico Scenery

New Mexico Scenery

New Mexico Scenery

Distant hills

We parked alongside the road and checked out the lava at El Malpais National Monument. I would love to come back to this area and drive the Chain of Craters Backcountry Byway and do some hiking and caving in the National Monument.

Lava, el malpais national monument

Lava

F on lava

Lava

Then just north of where we stopped is an area called “The Narrows” and the scenery got spectacular.

Rocks at El Malpais

Rock Formations

New Mexico Scenery

Rock Formations

Oh New Mexico. You deserve more of my attention. Someday.

New Mexico Mountains

On The Page: House of Rain

I’ve always struggled with coming to an understanding of Four Corners archaeology. Although I really enjoyed the Edge of the Cedars Museum in Blanding and visiting Mesa Verde, I’ve never been able to read something in a discplined enough fashion to understand how Chaco, Aztec Ruins, Cedar Mesa, Hovenweep, and Mesa Verde all hung together as cultures in the region.

House of Rain

When I downloaded House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the American Southwest, Craig Childs’ writing transported me to a place where evidence of this vanished civilization was visible all across this high plateau landscape I’ve been wandering over the last couple of years. Childs focus on the Four Corners civilization was driven by his attachment to the Southwest. Aside from my intimate ties to the Pacific Northwest, I identified with his statement that “The impulse that commands me to go is balanced by another that commands me to stay, the two working together to send me into quick but returning orbits around certain places: the Mogollon Rim of Arizona, the low desert south of there, the high desert north, and the castle perimeter of the Rocky Mountains beyond. I am constantly in motion among these landscapes, yet my life rarely ranges any farther, tethered by history and experiences to the Southwest.”

I finally learned about how culture had developed in Chaco Canyon before spreading to Aztec Ruins, Solomon, and Mesa Verde. I learned how the Hopi, the Acoma, and the Zuni fit into the ancient Aztec history. I learned that the Navajo are completely unrelated to the Aztecs yet are responsible for the common name “Anazasi” meaning “enemy ancestor.”

Mesa Verde National Park

As he moved from Chaco, north to the San Juan River and again into the Canyonlands before drifting south to Kayenta and Black Mesa, I found myself drawn in to a deeper history of these places I am beginning to know. When the book continued further and further south to the Mogollon and even to Northern Mexico, it enriched my understanding of what it means to wander and embrace these places.

I completely recommend House of Rain as a great introduction to the history of people in the Southwest from the twelfth century to the early fifteenth century, especially for people who love to put their feet to the ground as they learn.

Butler Wash Ruins

Stovetop Shepherd’s Pie

In the continuing search for delicious food to eat in the camper, I attempted Shepherd’s Pie:

Ground beef

First I browned the meat. I meant to add some paprika and instead sprinkled some cinnamon in. The cinnamon will be staying next time. After browning the meat, I thickned it up by sprinkling in flour until there was sort of a gravy mixture.

Corn

A can of corn (drained) was added on top, and then two packets of Idahoan instant mashed potatoes were spread on top (one was Italian Romano White Cheese and the other was Baby Reds).

Mashed potatoes

I topped the whole thing off with a dash of paprika, covered, and heated until it was heated through and simmering which didn’t take long since everything but the corn was already hot.

Shepard's Pie

Wagontongue Mountain

After leaving the San Francisco Mountains, we continued into New Mexico. I headed out to hike Wagontongue Mountain (8,979′). F and Sprocket were planning to stay a bit lower to do some antler hunting while I peakbagged.

Wagontongue Mountain view

Along the way, I even found a couple of antlers!

Antlers

Wagontongue is a long ridge but you can see the high point below; it’s the little gap in the trees at the left side of the picture.

View to Wagontongue Mountain