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Day 3 - Phoenix, Arizona

From the cold, to the warm. It's early morning in Phoenix.

"Did you know Arizona got it's name from the Aztec Indian word "arizuma," that means "silver-bearing," from the Tohono O'odham Indian word "Aleh-zone" which means "small spring," or the Pima Indian word "Ali shonak" which also means "small spring?" I asked Ziggy.

"Not a problem," Ziggy meowed." And she pulled something out of her backpack and put it on. Here she is and she wore this the entire stay in Phoenix, Arizona.

She wanted to meet an Indian. So we went to the Phoenix Indian Center. There's two dozen tribes represented in Phoenix! They asked her to remove her headdress which she did reluctantly. Then, the chief took it and took a puff of smoke from this pipe and blew the smoke on it and gave it back to Ziggy.

His name was Chief Charlie Iron Eagle and his ancestry was that of Apache. We had a great conversation. I asked him about all the movies, (Hollywood) and they're portrayal of the Indians.

He said, "When the government came in and took our lands, it changed the way we lived our lives. We fought back to save our homes, our people, our way of life, our heritage, and our culture. It wasn't a pretty thing. I mean, what would you do if someone came in and just took your land and home."

I asked him how he felt being an American now. He said, "My people have always been American. If you mean, how do I feel being a part of the United States, well, the answer is and has always been in my lifetime, proud. This is the greatest nation. We have served in every war the US has ever been in fighting for freedom all over the world. You can't go through life hating anything. It does not make for a happy life. It took many years for my people and other tribes around the nation to come to terms. Speaking for the Apache, we are very proud."

I looked around and Ziggy was nowhere to be found. I asked the Chief if he had seen where she had gone. He said he thought Ziggy went around back. They were making some beef jerky and she could be there. So we got up and went to see and sho nuff, there was Ziggy sitting next to this guy who was making beef jerky. The Chief asked us if we wanted some and we eagerly accepted. I asked him for the recipe.

He said, "Preserving meat by drying has always been popular throughout the Southwest where the hot dry weather speeds up the process. Jerky, or carne seca, can be used in burritos and enchiladas, or with scrambled eggs. I'll give you the recipe but this recipe requires advance preparation."

This recipe will make approximately one pound and is great to take on hikes, or even better, fishing trips. Be careful. It's hot! Here's the recipe.

Arizona Apache Beef Jerky
Makes about 1 pound.

2 pounds extra-lean beef sirloin or flank steak
4 cloves garlic, cut in half
2 tablespoons lime juice
4 tablespoons red Arizona chile
1 teaspoon crushed chiltepins
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Rub the beef with the garlic cloves. Cut the meat across the grain in slices 1/8-inch thick and 1 inch wide. If you are having difficulty, partially freeze the meat before cutting.

Combine the remaining ingredients and rub the strips with the mixture.

Place the strips on a rack over a drip pan in the oven.

Bake at 150 degrees F, turning a couple of times, for 6 to 8 hours or until the meat is very dry. Leaving the door to the oven slightly ajar will help speed up the drying process.

Chew down now y'all!

_______________________________

We chewed the fat for awhile before taking a long walk down through the Native American Cultural Trail. After all, it was a beautiful, sunny day. As a matter of fact, they said it hadn't rained in weeks.

We visited the Pueblo Grande Museum. It was a long day and Ziggy was getting tired. As we made our way back to the Phoenix Indian Center, we heard drums. Ziggy ran on ahead and I had to chase after her.

I ran around the corner and there was the band of Indians with guitars and drums. Ziggy had somehow talked them into singing with them. And here's what happened. I recorded the whole deal!

Indian Song Apache with Ziggy

You guess it, it rained cats and dogs. We got the heck out of there real quick. We got on the highway and hitched a ride to Santa Fe New Mexico. We got a ride from an unusual couple in a old beatup1957 silver trailer hitched to an old pickup truck. See what happens tomorrow.

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