The Navajos:

DRIVING THE HERD TO SUMMER PASTURE
IN THE CARRIZO MOUNTAINS SOUTH OF
TEEC NOS POS
 
 
    Sheep ranching is a lot of hard work, mixed in with camaraderie and fun.  We helped Roy drive his herd of some 60 goats and sheep to the Summer pastures high in the Carrizo Mountains just south of his home late this Spring 2002.  We painted the sheep with a big red K to identify them as Kady/Klah stock while they are grazing on the mountain.  We did this in the early morning before heading uphill.
 
 
Sally Jo is dragging a sheep in Roy's Teec Nos Pos, Arizona corral over to another Navajo ranch hand to get its butt painted ("branded") with a big, red "K" prior to our driving the herd up the mountain.  We did this about 7 am.  It took 5 of us less than an hour . We did not paint all of the sheep, however.

    The trail leads up Teec Nos Pos Canyon to the clan halfway sheep camp cabin and corral on Teec Nos Pos Creek and Canyon.  The day was about 90° and we arrived around 1 pm, a 3-4 hour meander, with 3 dogs, Sally Jo and I herding with Roy.  By the time we reached camp, we were hot, dusty and tired, as were the livestock.  Luckily for us, a trail leads some 50 feet down into Teec Nos Pos Creek from the camp to a system of 3 waterfalls where we could freshen up in the most delightful, pristine, privately-accessed riparian pools imaginable.
 
 
A view up Teec Nos Pos Canyon, looking south to the Carrizo Mountains, taken from about a mile south of Roy's ranch.

    Not surprisingly, an Ancient  Puebloan ruin exists beside the sheep camp.  It consists of at least 1 kiva, room blocks and a plaza.  The life here has always been good due to the reliable water.  The outcropping of rock nearby overlooking Teec Nos Pos and the San Juan River Valley to the north would have provided a measure of safety.
    We found quite a few Native American artifacts on the 2-day hike, some of which are shown.  The Summer pasture is another days walk uphill from here to Roys cabin.  It was 93° the second day.  The trail crosses Teec Nos Pos Creek just above this halfway camp then heads steeply up.  The climb was especially hard on the sheep. Roys summer camp cabin is located about a mile west of Pastora Peak, the highest in the Carrizo Mountains.  A good spring exists about 50 yards from the cabin, fresh water, the only "utility" although towers on Pastora Peak allow cel phones to operate from here.  His summer sheep camp cabin can be seen in other stories on the OUT THERE link.
 
 
The Ancient Puebloan kiva ruins close to the camera with the halfway sheep camp cabin's roof visible in the woods beyond.  A partial stone wall of the kiva can be seen, along with many scattered rocks from its structure and the room blocks. Sally Jo is walking across the plaza area just below and south of the kiva and room blocks, looking south to the sheep camp cabin again.  The corral is off to the left, out of view.  The creek and the trail crossing it is to the right, out of view - that is the direction of the trail up the mountain.

 
A few artifacts we collected along the trail over these 2 days.  They consist of pot shards, culturally worked stone arrowheads, scrapers and spear point fragments.

 


 

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