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Monday, March 22, 2010

Crazy 8 field trip part 1- in which we stumble upon a castle

One of the most wonderful things about my wonderful state of Arizona is its diversity.  Deserts, soaring mountains, high desert plains, pine forests, and they are all within hours of one another.  This state has amazing and diverse geography.  

This weekend we packed the SUV to the brim and went north on I17 for a little family field trip.  We aimed for the red rocks of Sedona.  It's about a 90 minute drive from home.   We made a pit stop at Montezuma Castle National Monument.  It's on the way and a great place to get out and let the kiddos stretch a bit.  This is about 60 miles from Papa's and my hometown and was a frequent destination for field trips and family outings as I grew up.  So it was kinda full-circle to to take the crazy 8 kiddos there.  

So the story goes that there was this ancient Native American culture called the Sinagua.  They lived about 1,000 years ago and this was their home.  It's about 20 rooms and is nestled into the side of this limestone cliff above a creek.  It was part of a larger thriving community.  After about 300 years, the Sinagua "disappeared," and nobody really knows what happened to them.  

Look closely and you'll see more rooms even below the main cliff dwellings, (to the right on the bottom along the cliff striations.)  And also look just above the "castle" at the roof.  You'll notice black soot on the ceiling.  1000 year old soot!  That's pretty cool!
Pretty neat, hu?

Tomorrow, (I hope?  But maybe Wednesday) I hope to get through the rest of the pictures and share the Sedona portion of our excursion.

Sedona Sneak Peek-Gotta love the red rocks!

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