Friday, July 2, 2010

Day 11 Grand Canyon to Montezuma Castle

We stopped at a few vistas on the way out of Grand Canyon for some more pics and to stop and get our 11th NPS stamp at the last Vis. Ctr. We've gotten 63 NPS passport stamps so far on the trip .

We passed the Little Colorado River Canyon on our way to
the ruins of another Indian Pueblo, about 2 hours south of Grand Canyon & 1/2 hr. north of Flagstaff.
On the way to the Ruins we drove off the edge of a volcanic escarpment into a portion of the Painted Desert.
These ruins are on top of a hill of volcanic boulders

The pueblo was occupied about the same time as Pecos & Aztec Ruins,
although much smaller & way, way out in the desert.
It was inhabited until about 1200 AD when ...
...erupted. The park ranger said the lava flows were slow enough that the Indians had plenty of time to leave their pueblo.

The red & orange cinders were from the last eruption. It was named by Maj. John Wesley Powell during one of his explorations of the southwest. The colors are supposed the be really vibrant when the light is right at sunset.
There were a number of smaller cinder cones: red,
gray &
black throughout the park.

The lava flows were just like I've seen of modern volcanoes,

sharp & jagged.

These mountains are just north of Flagstaff and the site of another forest fire.

...was occupied about the same time as the other Indian sites we've seen.

The rim trail was closed due to construction
so all we could see was a small dwelling through the glass at the visitor center. The Anasazi were in the 4 corners region and the Sinagua occupied Walnut Canyon and ...

- our 5th National Park today, about an hour south of Flagstaff, AZ
From the Visitor Center, it was an easy walk to the ruins , no steps or ladders to climb.
Like Aztec Ruins, it had no connection with Mexico, but the early Anglo explorers who named it must have thought it did.
It was built in a nice wooded valley, a lot more hospitable & easier access than some of the other sites we've seen.
There were a number of rooms built at the base of the cliff. This is another metate' used for grinding corn.
This exhibit shows a cross section of how the rooms were designed.
We went past the Yavapai Apache casino on our way to & from Montezuma Castle.

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