Friday, 24 February 2006

Sunset Crater, Wupatki Pueblo and The Grand Canyon!

We left Distant Drums RV Resort at 8:45 a.m. to head north to the Grand Canyon. Gordon had spoken with Fred (his photographer friend) and some of his friends and it was recommended that we enter at the eastern rim of the canyon. There were also some sights to see on the way. The drive was uneventful thank goodness and we noticed along the way that apparently you aren’t someone unless you have a horse corral in your front yard! We got through Flagstaff and headed north, our first stop to be Sunset Crater Volcano.

Sunset Crater first erupted in the winter of 1064-65. It is the most recent in a six-million-year history of volcanic activity in the Flagstaff area. What is now a 1,000 foot high volcano began to form when molten rock sprayed high into the air from a crack in the ground, solidified, then fell to Earth as large bombs or smaller cinders. As periodic eruptions continued over the next 200 years, the heavier debris accumulated around the vent. The lightest, smallest particles were carried the farthest by wind, dusting 800 square miles of northern Arizona with ash. Perhaps as spectacular as the original eruption were two lava flows, the Kana-a in 1064 and the Bonito in 1180. They destroyed all living things in their path.

We walked on the lava flow, walked along the pathway and took some photos. One of the photos I took is above. It’s very pretty to see all the black lava-like sand with the green trees against the blue sky.

Then we stopped at the Wupatki ruins. To me this is history and I’m not a history type person but these ruins of the pueblo were interesting because it was all red rock like the rocks at Sedona.

We then headed on to the eastern rim of the Grand Canyon. Glad we purchased the National Parks Pass last year. We’ve gotten our moneys worth. It’s $20 to enter the park if you don’t have the pass. We stopped first at the Desert View overlook and a nice lady took our picture on my camera and it is included with today’s blog. We then stopped at almost all of the viewpoints going toward the south rim mainly looking for a good spot for sunset photos. We saw lots of rock, canyons and trees. It is indeed a place to see and I’m glad we went (even though it was a very long day and today I feel like I’ve been pulled through a knothole) however I have to say that the Sedona area with all the red rock is prettier (again in my opinion) and I think Big Bend National Park is also prettier and more interesting. I have however included some photos taken of the Grand Canyon.

We wound up leaving the park just before sunset after taking some photos in the golden light. The sun was bright and there were no clouds so we decided to head back. We left through the southern rim exit and drove toward Williams hoping to find a Taco Bell for dinner.

Not much by way of fast food in Williams but it was interesting to see the town. This apparently is where a lot of people stay when going to the park. It is quite a distance though probably an hour’s drive to get to the south rim.

We continued on, not finding a sign for Taco Bell anywhere even going through Flagstaff. We didn’t get off the Interstate relying on the signs so decided to head back to Camp Verde where we knew there was a Taco Bell. We arrived back at the RV at 8:45 p.m., a very full 12 hours, traveling 340 miles!

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