Friday, September 28, 2012

The Mysterious Disappearance of Glen and Bessie Hyde

“Glen and Bessie Hyde were newlyweds who disappeared while attempting to run the rapids of the Colorado River through Grand Canyon, Arizona in 1928.  Had they succeeded, Bessie would have been the first documented woman in history to do so.”  (Wikipedia)

Glen Rollin Hyde was born on December 9, 1898 in Twin Falls, Idaho.  He was a farmer and on occasions would go river rafting on the Salmon and Snake Rivers in Idaho.  While traveling on a passenger ship to California in 1927, he met Bessie.  Bessie Louise Haley was born on December 29, 1905 in West Virginia.  She was an art student, worked in a bookstore and loved to write poetry.  When they met, Bessie was still married to her first husband.  The day after her divorce was final, April 12, 1928, the two got married.

Even though Bessie had never done any river rafting and Glen was a semi-pro at it, he wanted them to spend their honeymoon traveling down the Colorado River inside the Grand Canyon in his homemade twenty foot wooden racing sailboat.  His idea was to break the speed record for the fastest journey through the rapid river waters.  He also wanted Bessie to earn her place in the record books as the “first documented woman to run the canyon”.  In October of 1928, Glen and Bessie pushed off in their wooden boat for an exciting journey through the Grand Canyon.

In November of 1928, photographer Emery Kolb was at his studio/home located on the rim of the canyon when he met the newlyweds.  They had just hiked Bright Angel Trail to get more supplies and walked by Kolb’s place on their way back to the trail.  He took a picture of the young couple and some say they were joined by a man named Adolph G. Sutro.  Sutro traveled a short distance on their scow to river mile marker 95, took some pictures, and watch as they departed down the river on November 18, 1928.  Sutro was the last person to see the couple bustling with excitement and happiness.  (Note: The Sutro reference was mentioned in a documentary but there is no proof he sat in their boat nor was the last to see them.)

When the Haydes failed to return to Idaho in December, a search party was formed to look for the young couple.  While flying over the canyon near river mile 237, their tiny boat was seen floating and looked in good condition.  Inside was the Haye’s supplies were still hooked on the boat along with their camera.  When the film was developed, they were able to discover that the last photo taken was at river mile 165 and sometime in November.  They also found traces of proof that the couple made camp at river mile 225, but after that the trail goes cold.  The authorities are left to speculate that the couple probably got carried overboard near river mile 232 where the rapids are at their most dangerous.

There are so many theories swirling around on what really happened to the newlywed couple.  With no irrefutable proof, lots of idle speculation and stories started circulating around throughout the decades.  One tale was in 1971 and told to a group of people on a rafting trip through the Grand Canyon.  On their boat was an old woman who insisted she was Bessie Hyde.  She went on to tell them that her husband, Glen, beat her and to getaway, she jabbed and killed him with a knife.  Not long afterwards, she said that she lied and took back what she stated.  Another story of what may have happened to Bessie was told after Georgie Clark, a famous rafter died in May of 1992.  Documents and a gun were discovered amongst her belongings which they thought might have been Bessie’s.  They were never able to connect the evidence plus photos of the two women showed no resemblance.   Another story is that maybe Emery Kolb might have killed Glen, but what about Bessie?  When a skeleton with a bullet inside the skull was discovered on Kolb’s land in 1976, a tinge of distrust turned to the last person who reported seeing the couple.  After the remains were examined, they concluded that the bones belonged to a 22 year old man who died no earlier than 1972.  The skeletal remains could not be that of Glen Hyde.

What happened to Glen and Bessie Hyde?  It is a mystery that may never be solved.  It is heartbreaking to think that this young couple, who had their whole lives ahead of them, fell over the side of their wooden boat, and disappeared in the cold waters of the Colorado River.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Canyon de Chelly: Spider Rock

Located in the northeastern portion of Arizona is the remarkable uninterrupted rock landscape of Canyon de Chelly (de SHAY) National Monument.  Canyon de Chelly borders the Navajo Nation and was recognized on April 1, 1931.  This “little sister” of the Grand Canyon can boast many well-kept ruins and astounding views from its rim and between its canyon walls.  The name “Chelly” means “borrowing“ in Spanish and “Tseyl” (canyon) in Navajo.  There are Native Americans who still live and farm surrounded by the canyon walls.  Visitors can walk around freely on the rim but are only allowed inside the canyon with a guide.

One of the more promenade features inside the canyon are the two red sandstone pointed structures with the taller one reaching around 750-800 feet high.  The larger of the two is called “Spider Rock” and the smaller one is referred to as “Speaking Rock”.  In many Native American cultures there are many legends and myths about places such as Spider Rock.  The Navajo people believe that the mythical “Spider Grandmother” or “Spider Woman” has made the tall rock her home.  This divine being is very significant to the Navajo customs because they believe she protected them from all the malicious beings that walked solid earth when they first reached the canyon and bestowing them powers to fight.  She defends those who are quiet and calm and who might be exposed to harm.

Although the Spider Woman protects the Navajo people, there is a more sinister side to this goddess-like creature.  Dwelling on the lower spire, Speaking Rock, is the spirit who aides the Spider Woman in seeking out naughty children.   Any child caught being troublesome is grabbed by the legendary god, transported to the top where they encounter their doom.  They say that the chalky color of the stones at the top of Spider Rock is the bones of the Navajo children she has viciously consumed.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Zombie Housewives of the 1960's

Here is the finished wraparound for our next Zombie Housewives book; Zombie Housewives of the 1960's. The very talented Cullan Hudson ( designed our first cover and this one as well.  I added all the text on the back and designed the spine.  The 1960's book will have more content about the featured zombie housewives, Blossom and Colleen.  Blossom is a hippie, proud to be a zombie, fights for zombie rights, and is living with two zombie men.  Colleen is her younger sister, married to a human, and wrestling daily on living and existing in both worlds.  Sharon and I are proud of this book and had a blast writing it.  The book will be released on October 1, 2012.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


One of the places you must see while visiting Sedona, AZ, is Tlaquepaque (Tia-keh-pah-keh).  The name means "best of everything" and was built in the 1970's.  Located near Oak Creek with flourishing vegetation all around its grounds, Tlaquepaque has the look of an orginal Mexican town.  Inside are many interesting shops, galleries, restaurants, with cobble-stoned walkways and arched entryways with vines growing all over the stucco walls.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


I know where you can pick up some cheap furniture, TVs and luggage.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Dry Creek Turquoise

~Turquoise Lady~

"Dry Creek turquoise is "beyond rare".  Not only is it the palest turquoise in the world, but its raity is increased due to the mine being closed so there is little to work into jewelry.  When it was discovered and found to be such an uncommon turquoise and so pale in color, the Shoshone Indians named it "Sacred Buffalo Turquoise" after the legend of the white buffalo.  Authentic Dry Creek or Sacred Buffalo turquoise should never be confused with other stones that are called "white buffalo" which are actually howlite, magnesite and other white stone that usually have gray and black matrices in them."

I purchased this Dry Creek turquoise ring while vacationing in Sedona, AZ.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Window Rock

Located in the northeastern portion of Arizona sits an interesting rock formation known as "Window Rock".  It is called "Tseghahoodzani" by the Navajo, which means "the rock with the hole in it".  The Navajo revere the rock as holy and symbolizes the capital of the Navajo nation. The huge sandstone rock stands about 200 feet, with a forty-seven foot hole in the center.

There are myths handed down through generations that tell stories of why the hole is in the rock.  One fable is the wind blew the opening when the world was being created.  The Navajo feel that a colossal snake formed the round gap and would slither through it while hunting for food.  They also believe that the rock's cavity is getting larger because the huge worm still exists, using the hole, and is growing larger.

Whatever the story really is, Window Rock is an enchanting site to be seen.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Native American Ruins

Arizona and other southwest states have centuries old Native American ruins throughout their lands.  I have seen some, but still have many more to visit.  If you visit Arizona, be sure to put some of these amazing ruins on your list of must see places.  Here are some I have seen in the past few years:


This old pueblo ruin located near the outskirts of Globe, Arizona, and is approximately 700 years old. Around 1225, the Salado Indians started the construction of the Besh-Ba-Gowah buildings, which are the ruins we see today. The name Besh-Ba-Gowah comes from the Apache language and means, “place of metal” or “metal camp”.

Today, many of the buildings and walls are still standing. Some of the structures have been restored to their original status for visitors to get an idea of the living conditions of the Salado people. The wood ladders have been re-created for you to climb to the second floor where many of the pottery pieces found in excavation are displayed. From the second floor another ladder leads to the roof of the pueblo where they once walked from one structure to another. Around the site you will notice some of the walls have remained intact, while others have been precisely rebuilt. Also located on the site is an Ethnobotanical garden with an amazing variety of desert plant life, and the Besh-Ba-Gowah museum which displays artifacts of the Salado, a model of the ruins as it probably looked in the 13th century, and a wonderful variety of gifts. 


Tucked in the mountains and just outside Sedona in the Verde Valley is the site where cliff dwellers once lived. The building’s foundation resembled an Aztec dwelling and therefore was given the name Montezuma Castle. This five story apartment with its 20 rooms is remarkably well preserved. It was built by the southern Sinagua people in the 12th century. Sinagua is Spanish for “without water”. They used limestone to build their abode, which is a soft material causing varying breakage over a long period of time. Because Montezuma Castle is wedged tightly inside the rock cliffs, it has been protected by the elements and has remained intact for over 600 years.  For that reason, Montezuma Castle is one of the most successfully preserved early dwellings in the southwest.


Another group of southern Sinagua people established their own community on the hilltops called Tuzigoot. The name Tuzigoot is Apache for “crooked water”.  These ruins are located 20 miles from Montezuma Castle and built from the natural resources found in the surrounding desert. Tuzigoot’s massive cobblestone walls were uneven, two-story to three-story dwellings, with approximately 110 rooms. There were a limit number of exterior doors or windows. The Sinagua would enter through a hole created in the roof of each pueblo. Living high on a hilltop in their rock apartments, they were well protected from the unforgiving desert climate and their enemies.


Located one hour southeast of Phoenix in Coolidge, Arizona, sits the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument.  These well preserved remains are where the ancient Hohokam once lived.   The main building, or Great House, is four stories high and 60 feet long.  The first floor is a mount and the walls are a mixture of a concrete-like combination of sand, clay, and calcium carbonate or limestone.  The Great House took 3,000 tons of Caliche mud which was layered to form walls four feet thick at the base and tapered towards the top.  Anchored in the walls and used to form the ceilings were hundreds of juniper, pine, and fir trees they carried or floated 60 miles down the Gila River.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Apache Tears

Apache Tears are natural crystals and a form of Black Obsidian Stone.  This stone is usually found in the southwest and parts of Mexico.  They are somewhat transparent and either a dark brown or black in color.  These irregular shape stones get their name from an American Indian legend.

Around the 1870’s the connection between the United States military and some of the American Indians, especially the Apaches, was tense and precarious.  The military built many garrisons in hopes to keep the Apache under restraint.  One of the forts built was Camp Pinal which is located near today’s Superior, Arizona.  There were no written records, so what happened next was from many years and decades of stories.

In the late 1800’s, troops from Camp Pinal were chasing a group of 75 Apache warriors.  They had driven the band of men west to the edge of a cliff (now called Apache Leap) which today looks over the town of Superior.  The Apache men were extremely proud and would not let the military take them prisoner.  Instead, all 75 warriors leaped off the edge of the cliff and fell eight hundred feet to their death.  The men’s families heard of the news and quickly went to the bottom of the cliff.  They cried nonstop and mourned the brave men’s demise.  It is told that their tears absorbed into the soil, hardened, and turned into the black obsidian stones we see today.

Superior, AZ 2010 (Apache Leap)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Red Rock Vortexes

One of the things Sharon and I wanted to do while in Sedona was to find some of the vortexes which are located all around the city.  We hiked up the red rocks along the airport road to the breathtaking views on top. There were several interesting piles of rocks near the vortex. We took in the views and fresh air, cleared our thoughts, and felt at peace.

"A vortex is the funnel shape created by a whirling fluid or by the motion of spiraling energy.  Familiar examples of vortex shapes are whirlwinds, tornadoes, and water going down a drain.  A vortex can be made up of anything that flows, such as wind, water, or electricity.

The vortexes in Sedona are swirling centers of subtle energy coming out from the surface of the earth.  The vortex energy in not exactly electricity or magnetism, although it does leave a slight measurable residual magnetism in the places where it is strongest."

Monday, September 10, 2012

Red Rock Creations

Some of the interesting red rock formations in Sedona have fascinating shapes which lends to their names.  Other things were built right in the rocks as part of the scenery.

Coffeepot Rock

Blue Moon at sunset.

The lone rock.

Cathedral in the rocks.

Cathedral Rock

Bell Rock