Sunday, November 5, 2023

Native American Festival and Sabino Canyon Bluff Trail

Corona de Tucson

November 4, 2023

Family time is always fun time !  Last week-end Jamie, Andra and Ozzie spent the week-end with us.  We had plans to go to Tombstone on Saturday.  When we were walking towards Allen Street, we noticed the "Town too Tough to Die" has a new statue at City Park.  It is an 8-foot bronze statue of Tombstone founder Ed 1880s prospector.  Schieffelin is credited with locating a number of mines in the area, but the first major producing mine was Lucky Cuss.  The statue faces the Lucky Cuss claim where he gazes out over the hills of south Tombstone.    

Tim Trask is the artist.  Trask created an 8-foot clay statue of Sshieffelin in 2012 that was housed in his studio while he waited for a buyer.  After receiving a bequest from local Tombstone donors in 2021, he had the money needed to complete the project.  He created a mold of the statue which included 61 sections and took it to a foundry in Juarez, Mexico to be cast in bronze.  The more than 1,000-pound bronze statue was delivered to Tombstone in October 2022. 

Edward L. Schieffelin...prospector and miner whose discoveries of silver led to the founding of Tombstone
Artist Tim Trask

For the past several years, the Native American Festival has been held in downtown Tombstone.  A parade down Allen Street kicks off the annual event with performances and vendor/food trucks located in the old high school ball field afterwards. 

Hopi, Cheyenne, Apache, Pawnee, Sioux, and Yaqui tribes were represented...young and old...from as far away as Saskatchuen.  The parade was my favorite.  

We only saw the dance group perform as the day was warming up fast and there was no shade at the ball park.  The young girl pictured below was from Saskatchuen and quite a little talent.  Her grandfather is a Chicken Dancer.  The Chicken Dance is one of the oldest and most symbolic dances known to many Indigenous Nations and is still learned and performed today.  This dance celebrates the sacrifice of the Prairie Chicken by miming the male prairie chicken's mating rituals...fluffing feathers, shaking their tail feathers and their head, strutting, and puffing out their chest all the while throwing his top two head feathers down to the ground.  The head dress and round bustle worn for the dance are made of porcupine quills and the head dress always has two large feathers. 
Most Chicken Dancers are male, but this little granddaughter has been performing since she was big enough to walk.

A dad and his son performed a Grass Dance.  It was explained that the fringe represents grass. Grass was never cut but rather stomped on and laid down so that when a tribe moved on, the grass would stand tall again and continue to grow.

There was no recorded music. The two gentlemen in the background played the drums and sang for every performer.

If you ever feel the need to "Cowboy Up!",  Tombstone is a fun place to peruse. 
The shops are full of cowboy necessities.  Can you ever have too many cowboy hats ?  There are hats for every season...felt, wool, and straw, one for dress, one for work and one for play, a dark color and a light color or maybe a red one, curl brim or straight, gambler style and pinched just goes on and on !

And you might have guessed it, we enjoyed lunch at Big Nose Kates.  

After spending three days (Mon., Tues., and Wed.) pretty much inside because of strong winds and polluted air, Joe and I decided Thursday morning that some fresh air and a desert hike would be really awesome.  Our choice was Sabino Canyon Recreation has been 6 months since we were last there.

We combined Bear Canyon, Sabino Lake, Bluff and Esperero Trails for a 3 mile loop.  There is always a view of the Catalina Mountains.  

Highlights of the morning included a new to us Crested "in the making" that Joe spotted...

sharing the trail...

looking up...

gigantic views...

and anticipation.

Back at the oasis, we checked a few things off the "to do" list the first of the week since we couldn't be outside.  Joe made a new valence/cornice board for the patio door, we removed screens and washed them, and I started on the windows and blinds...not a job I like.  I dusted and painted scuffed base moulding. The corners are the worst to get scuffed...and I know I should be more careful with the vacuum.     

The old valence that came with the shades...


and the new one he made and I painted. 


There wasn't much patio time this week, but I did capture a few bird photos.

a beautiful Red-tailed Hawk

late afternoon sun and a Gamble's Quail 

the stealthy Cooper's Hawk

and a noisy Curved-billed Thrasher

Sally enjoys the afternoon sunshine...

and we celebrated another birthday.  

That wraps up another week...and it's November already!

Until next time...



  1. Happy Birthday, Joe !!!
    The Tombstone Indigenous Festival sure draws from a large base of performers. The Hoop Dancers always show such grace and balance, I could never to a Hula Hoop!
    Thanks for the picture of the quail, but the profile of the Red Tailed Hawk ...
    is your new crested on a single trunk?, it looks like it might a\have divided at some time.

    1. Hi Jeff…I’m with you as I would be flat on my face trying to manage those hoops. The beautiful hoop dancer who performed at the festival also performs in Las Vegas with Circus Soleil and has been awarded a two-time Native American Female World Champion Hoop Dancer. It’s funny that you ask about the crested…we were just studying that photo and I think it will split.

  2. Happy Birthday Joe! Your photos are gorgeous Gay--the crested, the Native American dancers (that little girl!!), the red tailed hawk photo was awesome as were all the bird photos. Sweet Sally! What a fun weekend spent with the "kiddos!"

    1. Hi Janna….thank you! The young Chicken Dancer was my favorite of all the dancers we saw. I loved her expressions and how she moved to the music. The drummer would try to “trick” her and change the rhythm and not one time did she miss a beat.

  3. Happy Birthday, Joe! You'll have keep an eye on that cactus. Looks like it could turn into a basket crest. Beautiful hawk photos. Sally is so darn cute:)

    1. Good morning Pam…we will definitely keep an eye on the crested. I will have to Google basket crested saguaros…sounds interesting.

  4. Happy Birthday Joe! Love all your bird pictures, especially the quail and the roadrunner. Sally looks so happy soaking up the sun, she is such a cutie!

    1. Good morning Jim…I was so happy to meet the roadrunner on trail. We both rounded the curve and just about ran into each other as I’m usually looking up, not down. The roadrunner was not the least bit frightened and meandered on his way.

  5. I would have loved that parade. I get goose pimples when they drum and sing, don't you? We happened into a Pow Wow up in Washington state years ago and we've been fascinated ever since. The dancing is so fascinating to watch, and the costumes! Oh my. I'll put that one on my calendar! Happy Birthday Joe! That cake looks yummy.....

    1. Good morning Sue…the cake was yummy! Joe is definitely a chocoholic. I agree…it is very special to hear the drum and voices and even more special to be there in person. I love the flutes too! Next time we go, we will be better prepared and take chairs and an umbrella for shade. I love the stories told as an introduction to each of the performers about who they are and the meaning/significance of each dance.

  6. That parade looked so fun to watch! Your pictures take me right there. I also love the picture of Jamie and Andra at Big Nose Kate's! The hike photos are so gorgeous. Your bird pictures are always my favorite. :) Happy birthday to Dad! I love you both!

    1. Hi Jill…we really enjoyed the festival…especially the music and dancing. There are so many awesome hikes here I want to take you, Bill and Henry on. Desert hikes are so different from those gorgeous mountain hikes you take in NC, and yet beautiful in their own way. One of these days I hope you can visit when it’s not summer and it’s cooler. Love you too!