Come Visit Bluff, the Edge of the Universe

Get out There and See the Country. (If you feel like it...)

Get out There and See the Country. (If you feel like it…)

If you’re looking for adventure, as well as an outrageously amazing culture, Twin Rocks can help you find that, too.  At Twin Rocks, we’re locals, and we have plenty of tips for you to enjoy Bluff, our home.  If you’re into it, our home offers any kind of backcountry adventure you can image.

Take off from Bluff to the west and discover the incomparable Cedar Mesa. Driving the exciting Mokey Dugway on Highway 261 or coming in from the north on Scenic Byway Highway 95, leads to some of the most beautiful canyons anywhere!

The trailheads for these canyons are accessed by dirt roads, and some may require four-wheel-drive. Exploring the canyons can be as short as a day hike or, for the more adventurous, provides opportunities of up to a week or more of hiking through spectacular scenery while investigating Ancestral Puebloan ruins from a culture of a thousand years ago.

Some of the canyons offer arches and bridges carved by millions of years of erosion and slickrock trails for smooth walking. There are many dramatically different canyons offering opportunities for return visits to see them all.

And, there is the glorious San Juan River.  It is one of the creators of the Grand Canyon.

A word of caution: The archaeological sites are VERY FRAGILE. Climbing and pulling on the walls is forbidden as is taking ANYTHING from the site including artifacts and other remains. Please take the time to learn about the Anasazi and the proper protocol for visiting these sites.

Explore

Surrounding Bluff are still more canyons and mesa-tops to explore. These areas can be easy day hikes from roads just outside of town and offer more rock art panels, ruins and just great views of the amazing desert landscape. Explore on bicycles or motorcycles.

Drive throughout the Four Corners region and visit the sites that bring the world to Bluff.  Monument Valley, Valley of the Gods, Natural Bridges, Mesa Verde, Arches, Canyonlands and Hovenweep are just a few of the National Parks, Monuments, Navajo Tribal Parks and State Parks that attract visitors.  Experience serenity, beauty and natural wonder.

The photographer, budding archaeologist or sightseer will enjoy the landscape of the entire region.

One of Bluff’s most popular spots is the BLM Sand Island Camping Area. It is the put-in for the famous San Juan River trips in the region. Even if not taking off on a river trip, be sure to stop and see some of the most telling examples of rock art. From ancient times, many cultures have left their mark and told their stories on the painted walls along the San Juan corridor. Then spend one day, or many, traveling the river known for the steepest gradient in North America!

A fast moving river without technical whitewater, it is a challenging trip with opportunities to view layers of geological formations and to visit fascinating rock art and ruins on short hikes along the way. Whether traveling all 84 miles to Clay Hills take-out for a multi-day trip or just doing the 26 miles to Mexican hat – in one day or a few – the San Juan features a trip that is enjoyable for the entire family. From senior citizens to kids with water-fight buckets, everyone enjoys trips through the scenic canyons of the San Juan.

Adventure

Mountain bike enthusiasts will find a pleasant diversion from slickrock trails here in Bluff. There are many dirt roads taking off just outside of town that lead to wonderful views, interesting archaeology and just great rides.

Only 25 miles north of Bluff are the Abajo Mountains offering a cool break for the summer visitor and even backcountry skiing in the winter. The 10,000 feet of elevation there showcases lakes for fishing and easy access by paved and unpaved roads for spectacular vistas and shady picnics.

Come visit Twin Rocks, and then explore our home!

The Mysteries of Navajo Medicine

Navajo Medicine Men making a Healing Sandpainting

Navajo Medicine Men making a Healing Sandpainting

To most American Indians, medicine had/has a different meaning than we give it.  It comes with an entire array of ideas and healing concepts, as well as remedies and treatments.

An explorer, George Grinnell, wrote something that we’d like to share with you:

“All these things that we speak of as medicine, Indian people call mysterious.  And, the word mysterious is used to mean that their healing properties is beyond anyone’s power to account for.”

Isn’t this what the power of prayer or positive thinking amounts to?  Positive thoughts that we send up to the skies, or hopes and dreams that may or may not come true. And if they do come true?  It comes from the center of the great mystery–probably whichever form of religion we ascribe to.

He continues:  “We say that Indian people call whisky ‘medicine water.’ Translated, it is really called mysterious water, meaning water that acts in a way that’s not understandable.  And, in the same way, some tribes call the horse ‘medicine dog,’ and the gun ‘medicine iron‘.  Both are a mystery.

“People who we call a medicine man may be a doctor, a healer of diseases.  If he does something like juggle, he may be a worker of magic.  Either way, he is a mystery man.

“All Indian languages that we know of have words which are the equivalent of our word ‘medicine’, sometimes with curative properties.  But, the Indian’s actual translation of ‘medicine,’ used in the sense of magical or supernatural, would be ‘mysterious, inexplicable, and unaccountable.'”

Medicine is a mystery, almost any Western doctor will agree. Sure, there are formulas to make the medicine and give it. But, in the end, the same medicine works differently on everyone.  And that is a mystery.  We all understand that, and the best doctors will agree that, in the end, there is a magic inside the patient, whether we call it will, fate or chemistry, that will cause healing.

As an afternote, and a description of how much the term ‘medicine’ covers, John James Audubon, the great American painter and naturalist, said, “I think it’s notable that the Missouri valley Indians called the steamboat “great medicine.”  Truly, moving across a mighty river, with or against the current, certainly is mysterious.

So, let your mind roam the world of mysteries and wonders.  See how much comes down to the word “medicine.”  It’s just about everything imaginable!