We started our day early and tried to decide what to do to today. Since we had already done the Grand Canyon and Williams, we decided to visit some of the other National Historical sites around Flagstaff. But first, I wanted to kayak. This was the first place where we had the time and had a lake so I took advantage of it. The lake was very low as are most of the lakes in New Mexico and Arizona because of the many years of droughts in the southwest. But this was a lovely lake although small and was apparently a great fishing lake. Or at least a lot of fisherpeople thought so. I was able to kayak for about an hour and got some great pictures of the surrounding mountains. I also had a fish almost jump into my kayak. Maybe the fisher people know something. Tried to get Joey to get in the kayak with me but….Nope.
We went back to camp, I changed and we started the days adventures going to Walnut Canyon National Monument. It’s a canyon that has cave dwellings carved into the sides. People actually lived there. You could walk down to the caves themselves but Joey couldn’t come and Keith is afraid of heights so we just looked and took pictures from above. Still it was really impressive. The people who lived here were called Sinagua meaning without water. They lived in an area with very little water and rainfall but were able to survive and flourish. Boy are we wimps today. We can’t go 1 mile without a water bottle.
From Walnut Canyon we took a drive to the other National Monument in the Flagstaff area, Wapatki National Monument and Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. They are located just northeast of Flagstaff and are on a road called The Loop. When we got to the south end of the loop road, it was closed except for firefighters. Now we hadn’t heard of any fires in Arizona but we just continued on to the other end and were able to enter there. As we drove we were surrounded by mountains, so beautiful. We didn’t know really what to expect from this scenic drive but it sure wasn’t what we found. Besides the mountains in the backround, there were rough canyons where there are preserved pueblo houses. I mean these date back to 500 AD. That’s really old. You got to see how people lived and lived in communities. Different from the cave dwellers, they had to construct these homes and they farmed to have food. We continued to drive and took a million pictures before arriving at the visitor center and the Wapatki Monument itself. A 100 room pueble multi-level structure that also included a community room and a ballcourt. Not sure what the ballcourt was used for, certainly not football, but it was really cool. You could actually get really close and look into the rooms. No furnishing left but still. It was most populated after the Sunset Crater Volcano erupted in the 11th century because the ash made the ground fertile. I of course got my passport stamp and then asked about the other entrance being closed, since we were closer to that the going back. They told us no it was closed because there was a fire near the crater. Well we didn’t get to see the volcano but the drive was still pretty neat.
We got home and made a fabulous dinner of steak on the grill, sweet and white potato mash and broccoli. It was so good. We took Joey for a long walk even though we seemed to walk a lot that day. A lot more people set up while we were gone, generators seemed to be the thing and many people had them. I expected them have to shut them off at 10pm. But nooooo. So all night I had to listen to the generators run. Now it wasn’t hot out so I don’t know why they had to run but it was annoying. And we had a long drive the next day to Joshua Tree. Oh well. Another day, another experience on how rude people can be. Our last state on Route 66 next. California here we come!
Indigenous Day 18