Day 14 – Camp Verde, AZ


Today we just stayed around Camp Verde and had a bit of a downtime day.

Went back to the Montezuma’s Castle as Rob wanted to buy a flute after listening to the flute player.

The flute is the oldest know instrument and he’s always wanted to play something musical.

There is a story around here about how a man used to make a flute and then play it to attract a woman. Once the woman picked her flute player she would proceed to break the flute so he couldn’t play it to attract other women.

The castle is a magical place especially when you walk through the ruins and can listen to Harry play his flute. He has an amplifier on it and you can hear it all through the park.

After spending some time in trying out the flutes (they have different notes) and deciding on the perfect one (red cedar) we headed back to the petroglyphs.

Once at V Bar V Ranch, we went to sign in and they had a display outside of some tables and what looked like artifacts.

There was a fellow named Bob that was talking about them and it was so interesting.

In fact, all these items were actually made by him.

He told us a story about how one day he went hiking and as he was eating his lunch someone clicked a gun as asked him what he was doing on his land.

After explaining he didn’t know that he was trespassing and that he would leave, he got talking with the mountain man and got invited back to his camp.

His name was Yellow Hand and Bob spent the next 30 years learning from him all the skills of the people who lived off the land. Yellow Hand passed away earlier this year.

YH was a purist when it came to living off the land and made all his own tool and caught all his own food.

Bob has taken the skills that he has learned and when he goes camping or walking, he takes the tools he makes or knows how to make what he needs.

It was fascinating!

You could touch everything and ask questions and boy did I ask a lot of questions.

He had spears, bow and arrow, knives, axes, bird calls, shoes (woven), fire starting tools, fishing hooks, bowls made of clay, resin glue and another glue made from hooves, horn and sinew and so much more.

The resin glue that he made was like our current day Gorilla glue. It was made by mixing pine sap, charcoal and beeswax. They used it to attach arrowheads to the spear or anywhere that needs added support when attaching items together.

They made the glue portable by dipping a stick in the glue and allowing it to dry and then redipping until there is a good amount on the end of the stick. That way it can be carried around and when needed can be reheated.

He showed us how he made a bow and how he increased the tension from 30 lbs to 55 lbs just by adding sinew and glue and letting it cure.

Making his own bowls and utensils that he uses when he goes into the wilderness he is totally prepared to live off the land.

You see all sorts of survival guides and off the grid advice on the internet these days, but most of the advice takes into account items from today’s society.

Bob was totally in alignment with nature and the natural flow and rhythm of the planet.

After leaving the ranch we came back into town and stopped at the store across the street. It’s a combination of a western tack and second-hand store.

There were saddles, bridles, western wear and all things new.

Mixed in amongst these items were things from the past. Washboards, old harnesses, butter churns, old matchbox cars, tin toys and lanterns hanging from the ceiling.

I could have spent all afternoon there, but we needed lunch and it was 3 pm.

One thing that I did notice is that a lot of the “old” things were things that I had used in my lifetime or seen used. Hmmm, don’t feel that old. ????

Tomorrow we’ll be on the road again.


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