Wupatki National Monument

10/15/17 Sunday traveling from Page, AZ to Cottonwood, AZ

On our way to the TT Campground Verde Valley, near Cottonwood, we stopped at one of 3 National Monuments that are north of Flagstaff. We’d seen Sunset Crater Volcano and Walnut Canyon last year when we had coolant hose repairs done at Freightliner in Flagstaff, but didn’t have time for Wupatki. It’s sort of fitting because Wupatki is all about early Puebloan dwellings, just what we’ve been seeing the past month. Apparently these square style buildings were far more prevalent for that time period than the cliff dwellings.

Here are some that were perched above a box canyon. Since a box canyon is blocked at one end, lots of rain water and silt gather at the bottom, making it a great place for farming.

Box Canyon and Lomaki Ruins

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Box Canyon

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Lomaki Ruin

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The Citadel Ruin was built on a huge rock base, the only one found. It seems well positioned for defense as well as a great view. Below are some buildings for families, with terraced (by rocks) land on the other side for farming.

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Nice view

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Nearby sinkhole. The mountain in the distance to the left is the Sunset Crater Volcano.

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They liked to use the black volcanic rock for decorative purposes, along with forming their walls.

Visitor Center Ruins

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Large collection of buildings. Those at the front were built with lower walls. Not sure why – a better view?

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Another group of buildings. You see the ceremonial, group gathering circle as well in the foreground.

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The Ballcourt, used for games (no seating as the other had)

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A Blowhole where air moves either into or out of the hole in the ground, based on the weather/temperature. There is no indication that the people who lived here made use of it. There was quite a breeze going into it when we felt over it. Sorry, no photo of the hole.

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Navajo Sandstone. Note the “Swiss cheese” look at the top of this rock. It happens when rain water (with acids in it) pelt the soft rock. Below you see how it can crack over time, leading to slate like pieces falling away.


About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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