About Apache Tracker
Apache Tracker is a resource about survival, being a Physical and Spiritual warrior, and oneness with nature or "the spirit that moves in all things." I named this site in honor of the Apache. The Apache was the ultimate, survivor, warrior, guerrilla fighter, and lived in tune with his surroundings, on a spiritual and physical level. However you will find many other topics of interest on this site. Tracking is a mind set and awareness that goes beyond the physical to all levels, including the spiritual.
About the Author
About the Author
Roger Thunderhands Gilbert is an accomplished writer, musician, and artist. In his lifetime, he has done many things. These would include aviation, the martial arts, and a life long study of spiritual and tribal ritual. In the martial arts, his study has included three disciplines, Aikido, Kung Fu San Soo, and Tai Chi. He also worked with the Special Forces in a training capacity. In the field of aviation, he obtained his private, commercial, and instrument ratings as a pilot, with multi-engine, and flight instructor qualifications. He learned tracking as a boy and has worked with the sheriff’s search and rescue in that capacity. His spiritual knowledge includes in-depth study, and personal experience, with many shamanistic and esoteric practices. He is a practitioner of Kriya yoga, Kundalini yoga, Tantrika, and Chinese inner alchemy. In addition, he received his certificate in acupressure and uses several modalities for healing. He considers himself an authority on the Biblical teachings of Yeshua or Jesus, but considers himself spiritual, not religious. And last but not least, he has done an exhaustive study and been an activist of North American Native tribes and ritual. His own roots are of Métis descent, and his spirituality is universal.
My early days in Arizona
I grew up in Arizona and when I was in my young manhood I did many things in this arid-zone. Most of my activity was outside and in the desert and surrounding mountains. The temperatures would sometimes sore to 115 degrees in the summer and the nights were cold. My exploration, and scouting of the local terrain around the Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, and Mesa area's was way before the urban sprawl. The west was barely settled in those days. I had a friend who would usually be with me, it was the buddy system in case we ever got hurt, the other could go for help. There are many mountains streams and gullies that we explored. We climbed to the very top of all the surrounding mountain ranges such as Camelback and South mountain, the Papagos, and others.
Camel back mountains
We hiked the Apache trail and superstition mountains and dove from cliffs into the green and blue waters of Canyon Lake in the squaw peak range. We would sometimes carry a canteen but usually we could go all day with little water.
Apache trail & Canyon lake
A lot of times we would go barefoot and the bottoms of our feet were like leather. Other times we would wear moccasins or your early sneaker, which was a lot different then the Nike's of today. The landscape and lay of the land were awe inspiring. There was every kind of plant life from the regional saguaro cactus, jumping cactus, prickly pear, and Mescal plant to wild blooming flowers and sage. We would track coyotes to the caves in the Papagos, look under rocks for lizards, and scorpions.
Papago mountain area
But we were always keeping an eye out for snakes of which we saw many. There were coral and rattlesnakes as well as Gila monsters. We would find many arrow heads and pieces of pottery from our ancestors and walk through the ruins of the Hohokam. There were many flying creatures like the Hawk, Crow and Vulture, and I enjoyed seeing a roadrunner dart across the landscape. In those days the canal system was criss-crossing the land for irrigation and often times we would catch craw fish and catfish with our hands. We would have a friend drive us out in his old pickup and drop us off miles outside of town by the Verde river, then we would take old car inner tubes and float for miles through the rapids until we were back in town.
Verde River (docile part)
Our family had an Indian pony named Cotton that I rode bareback without a saddle. Cotton always knew how to get home with or without us. Sometimes without us. In all that time I was never injured seriously, or bitten by a snake or scorpion. We were taught to respect the natural order of things. We always carried a knife and that was all. I think the only time that I got hurt was when I fell in a bed of jumping cactus. This was very painful and the thorns had to be pulled from my body with pliers. But like I say these incidents where rare. If you go to these areas today you will find overpopulation, urban sprawl, golf courses, and fancy hotels and resorts. People go hiking and have to take a whole variety of things with them that they don't really need. We were raised next to the land and became one with it. There was always a shade tree we could find or a stream we could wash in. If you wanted water you could cut off a piece of cactus and suck on it, or drink from a stream. Our exploration often would take us to northern parts of the state like Flagstaff and Prescott. This would usually happen when my Dad got a spur of the moment idea, and would throw us all in the car and take off. I look back on those times with fond memories. The world has gotten complicated, and crazy. Those were simple fun times that I cherish in my memory. They are a part of me, the tough as nails, warrior, desert rat part. Sometimes I draw on that part of me to survive the trials we must all go through. Nature has become foreign to many but the spirit of the land, the mountains and deserts have a power of their own. It has Spirits that can be our allies and guides. Just ask any Apache and he will tell you.