Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Arizona Vacation Post #2

Day Two: Part 2~

One thing to note about this whole trip...I had no real plan.  Sure I had a couple of activities planned for the week, but nothing really planned in Sedona.  I really wasn't even sure what was there other than the "red rocks".  It was such a last minute trip, I hadn't done my normal planning.  I didn't even have a travel book.  It may be the first place I've ever gone without a travel book.  

I decided I would drive through the uptown (tourist mecca) area, and also drive north of town toward Flagstaff to see what was up there.  I discovered a bridge...
 and some pretty views...
After I was done doing that, I decided that I would drive back toward I-17 and see what this Montezuma's Castle was that I had seen signs for. 
Wow! 
Just wow! 
Montezuma's Castle was pretty cool! 
This 5-story, 20 room dwelling, was built in the early 1100s CE.  Not by the Aztecs as the name would indicate, but by the local Sinagua Indians.  The Sinagua Indians just seem to have disappeared.  Nobody knows what really happened to them.  The first settlers who discovered the abandoned structures marveled at it and didn't think the local Indians were smart enough to have built such a structure, so they were the ones who wrongfully attributed it to Montezuma and the Aztecs, but the name stuck. 
This structure pictured above and below, were not part of the first structure I showed, but these were the neighbors.  This was an impressive structure during it's time.  It was a 6-story apartment with about 45 rooms, but it is badly deteriorated now. 
After I left the Castle, I stopped at a little side-of-the-road establishment that was operated by a local Apache.  Fry Bread!
Yum-o!
Then I headed down I-17 to the next exit and Montezuma Well...
The well is a limestone sink formed long ago by the collapse of an underground cavern.  It is fed by a spring.  The Sinagua people irrigated crops with waters from this well.  I hiked up to this hill so that I could look at the little lake...
You could climb down a little to get closer to the lake.  I started the hike down, but a chipmunk or something ran across the path and almost gave me a heart attack.  Then I swore I heard a rattlesnake (ok, it may have been some brush blowing), so I hightailed it back up to the top!
You can see that someone had  built a dwelling along the wall of this lake too...
There had also been a structure on other side of the lake...
Between 1125 & 1400, it's estimated that about 150 to 200 people lived here.
I then made the drive back toward Sedona.  I wanted to stop and look at several of The Rocks.  You know, this was one of my surprises on the trip.  I knew that there were some Red Rocks in or around Sedona.  I just had no idea that they were everywhere!  No matter which direction you are driving, north, south, east, west, or pulling out of the McDonald's drive-thru, there are fabulous views of rock formations everywhere!  They all have names.  I figured out the names of some.  Others still remain a mystery.

The ones that have "labels" are really helpful.  Bell Rock...
Bell Rock is where one of the Vortexes are located, but I didn't hike out to locate it.
Of course I had to take a photo of Courthouse Butte...
A view of both Bell & Courthouse...

Other views of rocks...

I also made a stop at the Chapel of the Holy Cross...



After Chapel of the Holy Cross, I called an end to my sightseeing for the day.  I got take-out from a restaurant within walking distance of my room and enjoyed supper out on my patio.
My patio with a view!!!!
Stay tuned for Part 3...

1 comments:

Legally Lovely said...

Oh my goodness! Your vacation looks like so much fun! All of your pictures are so beautiful. That castle in the rock is especially cool! So glad that you're having a great time!

 

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