Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wed.Feb.17,2010- Montezuma Castle

I am breaking this day down into many parts : At 8:45 a.m. Bob, Barb, Keith and I drove from Tempe to Sedona area....It was another beautiful day with temps. around 76 in Tempe, but about 10 degrees cooler as we got up to 4000 ft. elevation. It is about 120 mile drive. Not a cloud in the sky...and the sky was clear blue..

Our first stop was just south of Sedona at exit 289 off of 1-17 at Camp Verde. First we stopped at the visitors center and found that our Senior Pass got us in with no fee. Most of the day this was true...we just had to put the pass on our dashboard and off we'd go. If you are 62 years old, you are eligible for a senior pass. It can be purchased at any National Parks information center for $10. good for life one time fee. Keith has his, I need mine. But the card will get a car with 3 other people into the parks. We found that in some cases, at State Parks when we showed the card, it got us free parking. It pays to show the card.

Montezuma Castle is a treasure among ancient cliff dwellings. Southern Sinagua farmers began building this five-story, 20 room dwelling (above) early in the 1100's CE(Common Era). It stands 100 ft above the valley. It was believed to be Aztec in origin. The creek was a reliable source of water, and there was fertile land on the nearby terrace. The Sinaguans resided in the cliff dwellings for about 300 years. When they left, en masse, around 1400, they left behind a rich collection of pottery, weaponry, household items, and jewelry. No one knows why they left or what happened to them. We spent about 40 min. here.

Barbara LOVES trees and she pointed this one out as we pulled into the parking lot...

I had to use the "crop" on my computer to bring this area close enough for you to see...The Sinagua used ladders and ropes to get up to their dwelling, and then more ladders to get from one room to another... One of the areas had 45 rooms.

This was a model of the way it looked... all built in the rock.

Barb took this photo so you can see how far up the cliff the dwellings were.

It was just a short walk down to the water flowing swiftly down from all the snow and rain that this area has gotten this year.

Barb and Bob told us that they've been here when there was NO water flowing.. They were so excited to tell us how neat it was for us to see all this water.

Barb and Bob walking along the path with us.

Remember I told you Barb likes trees.... So I told many photos of her with trees:)

She really wanted to get up in the tree so Keith gave her a hands up....She was as happy as a lark!

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