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
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.
Nearby sinkhole. The mountain in the distance to the left is the Sunset Crater Volcano.
They liked to use the black volcanic rock for decorative purposes, along with forming their walls.
Visitor Center Ruins
Large collection of buildings. Those at the front were built with lower walls. Not sure why – a better view?
Another group of buildings. You see the ceremonial, group gathering circle as well in the foreground.
The Ballcourt, used for games (no seating as the other had)
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.
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.