Last updated: June 23, 2016
I met a volunteer named Jon Hayden at the Montezuma Well parking lot and we drove together down a very long dirt road to reach the V-V pronounced "V Bar V" Heritage site. Once the dirt road ended and we were finally on pavement, we saw many people walking to the river to cool off on such a hot summer day. The V-V heritage site holds astounding beauty just like the rest of the Verde Valley and there is even a nice visitor center. Once in the visitor center we met Tom Cloonan, who is a volunteer for the Forest Service who was nice enough to take us out and personally show Jon and I the awe- inspiring petroglyphs.
The ¼ mile walk to the petroglyphs was very relaxing and there were open fields where the Sinagua used to farm right next to the path, which made it even more enjoyable. A nice diagram on a sign showed us just what it would have looked like hundreds of years ago. Once at the petroglyphs I was instantly shocked at how large the petroglyphs were, with drawings that sprawled over most of the massive rock face. Tom holds a vast amount of knowledge on the petroglyphs and it was a treat to be able to learn so much; whenever I'd seen petroglyphs previously at various locations, I had just looked at the rocks and moved on, not really knowing much about them. Tom explained the different drawings one by one, including journeys shamans had taken, animals, symbols of other tribes, and acts of nature. It is presumed that only shamans, or highly regarded people could draw on the rock due to the fact that the dirt by the rock isn't packed, while the dirt five feet from the rock and further is very packed, meaning that people were standing back watching the shamans draw;it was a privilege to draw on the rock. I was shocked to find out that the rock face was also used as a calendar; when the sunlight hit different drawings of the sun on the rock just right, it told the Sinagua to do different things. For example, when the sunlight hit a sun drawing for May it meant it was time for the Sinagua to plant their crops.
After gathering as much information from Tom as possible, Jon and I headed out to prepare for the flute concert that night. I started off by helping Krystina Isaac set up the concert venue by unraveling lights from a box and setting them up around the perimeter of the concert area. We also put up a huge tent for shade and set up chairs/ arranged benches. Once other volunteers arrived we started making luminaries to line the walkway to the venue for when it got dark. Once the musicians arrived (Myron Beeson as the flutist and Duane Paul as the guitarist) all of the volunteers helped to unload various musical equipment as well as set up a table for authentic Native American art.
The concert was a great success;the venue set-up worked great and the musicians were fantastic. One of our own volunteers actually helped out on the drum for a couple songs! It was especially beautiful when the sun went down; the full moon lit up Montezuma Castle while delightful flute music echoed throughout the park. Red lights around the concert area added to the relaxing ambiance. It was definitely a unique, once in a life time experience and I feel so lucky to have had the chance to work at the event. All of the volunteers I worked with had great work ethic and were extremely fun to be around. The musicians were very appreciative and easy to talk to, on top of providing our park with a breathtaking experience;I hope they will come back again soon!