Wednesday, December 9, 2015

July 5, 2015 - Sunset Crater and Wapatki National Monument AZ

We left Williams AZ in the morning to push further northward, toward home in WA state.  One of Steve's friends had strongly suggested going through these two parks.  They are in the general direction we are headed but it's a little detour to drive the roads through the parks.  What an interesting and beautiful drive it was.  Well worth the detour!  Sunset Crater is the result of volcanic activity around a 1000 years ago.   Beautiful landscape and trails!

Aerial view (courtesy of the visitor's center) of Sunset Crater.

Lava field in Sunset crater national monument.

Life can grow just about anywhere.
Cindy, on the run, as usual.....
Wapatki was interesting and beautiful as well.  Here is information from the park site:
For its time and place, there was no other pueblo like Wupatki. Less than 800 years ago, it was the tallest, largest, and perhaps the richest and most influential pueblo around. It was home to 85-100 people, and several thousand more lived within a day’s walk. And it was built in one of the lowest, warmest, and driest places on the Colorado Plateau. What compelled people to build here?
Human history here spans at least 10,000 years. But only for a time, in the 1100s, was the landscape this densely populated. The eruption of nearby Sunset Crater Volcano a century earlier probably played a part. Families that lost their homes to ash and lava had to move. They discovered that the cinders blanketing lands to the north could hold moisture needed for crops.

These ruins are estimated to have been built and occupied around
the 1100's.  Amazing that they are is such great shape.
These 900 year old structures are quite large.  Impressive.

Can you imagine what life must have been like 900 years ago.  I didn't see a single
outlet where they could plug in their iPhone's for recharging!  :-)

Cindy and Kevin explore the ancient ruins.

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