Monday, November 28, 2016

Montezuma Well - Verde Valley AZ

Approximately 1600 years ago, the "Sinagua" people settled into the Verde Valley and Sedona areas. They eventually built and occupied cliff dwellings, pit houses, pueblos, and other masonry structures. For reasons known only to them, the Sinagua eventually abandoned the structures about 700 years ago.  The word "Sinagua" is Spanish for "without water." What they called themselves is unknown, but we do know that they are linked with the Hopi and Hohokam tribes. Today, members of the Apache and Yavapai tribes live in the area. Some say that the vanished "Sinagua" people are part of one or more of these other four groups today.
Montezuma Well (unrelated to Montezuma and not really a well) is a large limestone sinkhole with a seemingly endless supply of water.

Even during periods of drought, over 1.5 million gallons of water flows into, and out of this sinkhole everyday. Water leaves the "well" after passing through limestone, and into an irrigation ditch. The ditch has been dated at over 1,000 years old, and is still used today.

Some of the Sinagua cliff houses are visible just under the rim (in the upper middle of the pic)

A better view. These ruins have not been "re-built."

The following several photos are ruins that are lower and closer to the water exit.

Historical graffiti
Graffiti this old is actually protected

Pueblo ruins very close to the edge of the sinkhole.

The remains of the foundation of a "pit-house." This is also close to the sinkhole. Poles were placed in the holes to help support and shape the roof and walls. The entrance was on the left. The only restoration work is a "mud" based paint that is used to coat and protected what is left.

This structure protects the pit-house from the weather.

Not related, but just because I like the way it looks.

See previous post on Montezuma's Castle HERE.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Passing Through Sedona

I apologize for the length of time since my last post. I received several emails asking if I was okay. That is understandable with the health issues I've had. I assure you all that I am doing great! The delay was more about logistics (and laziness) than anything else. We've been in Arizona quite a bit lately and most of the time had little or no cell phone signal, which also means no internet. 
We were recently in the Verde Valley area of Arizona. It is pretty close to both Flagstaff and Sedona. We had to pass through Sedona to get there. Passing through Sedona is always a pleasure, because it is one of the most amazingly gorgeous areas in the world. 

I've been to Sedona several times and the first glimpse of the scenery surrounding the town literally takes my breath away.

Without the tourists, Sedona has a population of about 10 thousand. You really wouldn't know though, because there are such strict restrictions on everything that is built there. It must be low, and painted with earth-tones.

Image this being your view while commuting to work. 

Or setting your trash cans out.

 Don't get me wrong, I'd rather there was ZERO development here, but it's a little late for that. There are several "power spots" around Sedona. They call them "vortexes." Yep, I don't think that is the proper plural term for "vortex" either.

Sedona is an artist/zen/new world/counter culture type of place. Not nearly as much as before though. I'll shut up now.

This was taken from a vortex site. I really did feel something there! Of course, it could have just been an LSD flashback.

For as long as we were in the area, we didn't spend much time in Sedona. Hope you enjoyed the photos. A photo really doesn't do the scenery justice.  I'll have another post soon (I promise!). Did a lot of hiking and exploring, and have plenty of potential posts in mind. 


Monday, October 3, 2016

Arch Rock - Joshua Tree National Park

Arch Rock is located very close to White Tank Campground in JTNP. It is reached by following a very short trail, and is very much worth the effort. The surrounding area is also gorgeous, and includes a couple of natural tanks. (tanks being areas where water naturally gathers).  It's not a huge arch, but there is more than enough room to stand in it and have your photo taken.

Here are a few photos from the area.
 Although they don't look very large in this photo, these rocks are huge.

A rock shelter right in the campground. 

 This one looks like a whale. Maybe Moby Dick...

The boulder in the middle also looks like a whale's head and teeth (in the middle of the photo).

This short hike is great for those who either can't, or won't expend much energy. 


Monday, September 12, 2016

Skull Rock - Joshua Tree National Park

Skull Rock is another very popular spot in Joshua Tree National Park. It is located just outside of Jumbo Rocks Campground. If you don't feel like hiking to this spot via the Jumbo Rocks Trail, you can drive to it! It is right alongside the main road through the park. As usual, there are also plenty of other great natural sights in the area.

 That is one large forehead on that skull!

 A small arch very close to the skull.

 A few additional photos from the area.