After a morning of laundry, shopping, and filling up on propane, we returned to the state park to explore the Hopi ruins here. There are two separate areas which have been partially excavated and restored that are open to the public. It’s hard to imagine a 500 to 700 room Pueblo village upon these mesas on the side of the Little Colorado. Especially at Homolovi I, there are scads of pottery shards scattered all over the ground. Along the Tsu’vo trail we saw a few petroglyphs and lots of cow foot prints and droppings. Except for the campground and ruins areas, there is open range grazing here.
In addition to visiting the archeological sites we stopped in at the visitors center to look at their exhibits and visit with the ranger. We were surprised to learn from him that if the “gate receipts” at the National parks exceed their annual operating costs, the additional money is returned to the general fund of the treasury, rather than being used to make improvements and take care of deferred maintenance. In fact, the extra money generated at the 6 most popular park’s, would take care of all requested improvements and deferred maintenance at all of the rest of the parks in 6 years. Instead, funds returned to the park system are just being used in the general federal budget. In other words, the National Park system is being run like a profit producing business for the federal government.