We returned to Flagstaff on Sunday October ,2002. On Monday we took the truck to the body shop, rented a car and began touring the surrounding area. Touring the surrounding area consisted of visiting more Native American ruins, hiking and viewing incredible vistas.

Montezuma's Castle had nothing to do with Montezuma but the first settlers to find it thought that it had been built by the Aztecs. In reality these pueblos are much older then that. This five story 20 room pueblo was built by the Sinaguan people so named by the Spanish because they seemed to live without water. The Sinaguan disappeared about 1400. Most Archeologists believe that the Sinaguan people migrated North and were incorporated into the Hopi and Zuni tribes who appear to be culturally related to them. Nobody has yet to explain why the moved. Possible explanations are draught, sickness, or conflict with other tribes. Several other Sinagua villages are protected by the National Park system and we visited them as well.

Montezuma Wells

Tuzigoot (Apache for "crooked water")


Walnut Canyon- The pictures don't do justice to way the Sinagua lived - we walked "The Island Trail" (an island in the sky without a water moat) "a 0.9-mile loop passes 25 of the cliff dwelling rooms...There is a 185 foot climb (240 stairs) back to the canyon rim"

Unfortunately tourists have no respect (yeah the picture is blurred)

Before visiting Walnut Canyon we went to "The Best Preserved Meteorite Impact Site on Earth!" and the site of at least one movie I think it was "Spaceman" with Jeff Bridges. More importantly the Apollo Astronauts came here to train.

About 50,00 years ago a meteor hurtling at about 30,000 miles per hour crashed into the Earth and left a hole 700 feet deep and 4000 feet across which looks like this today. Reminds me of the time a "friend" dropped a rock from the roof of the 9th building on me and another friend. Luckily for us it missed but left a hole in the ground outside the "Shulla" that lasted over a year( at least 6 months). I wonder if anybody was standing at this ground zero 50,000 years ago.

While in Flagstaff we drove through Sedona a couple of times. We didn't stop but we did tour some areas of great beauty and antiquity managed by the U.S. Forest Service and the State of Arizona. We visited the V-BAR-V Ranch Petroglyph Site with 1,032 individual petroglyphs have been identified in 13 panels and we walked on the Bell Trail for about 4 of it's six miles.

And we also visited Red Rock State Park.


In addition to all the ruins and scenic locations we also visited the Lowell Observatory. A privately owned astronomical research institution located in Flagstaff. The observatory was founded in 1894 by Percival Lowell an amateur astronomer and heir to the Lowell (Massachusetts) Fortune. The American industrial revolution began in Lowell which was named for one of its founders. Percival Lowell wanted a location that was dark enough and high enough so that he could examine Mars and other stars. The Lowell observatory is well known for the discovery of Pluto and the expansion of the Universe. It was a  cloudy, rainy night so we didn't get a chance to look through the famous Clark telescope and had to settle for a history lesson and demonstration. It was interesting but not as exciting as a look through the optics would have been.

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