Tonto National Monument

Wow, I thought I have seen all amazing places in Arizona, but this state always surprises me with more gorgeous sites. This National Monument, what a pleasant surprise.  It is another story of an ancient group of people, this time the archaeologists call them the Salado people.

IMG_9438

IMG_9443

IMG_9450

IMG_9451

IMG_9453

IMG_9459

IMG_9446

IMG_9462

IMG_9447

IMG_9467

IMG_9468

IMG_9469

IMG_9489

IMG_9477

IMG_9491

IMG_9490

IMG_9493

IMG_9496

IMG_9501

IMG_9506

IMG_9508

IMG_9510

IMG_9507

IMG_9518

IMG_9517

IMG_9498

IMG_9481

IMG_9523

IMG_9544

IMG_9551

IMG_9576

IMG_9478

IMG_9581

IMG_9597

 

Advertisements

Globe, Arizona

Tomorrow we are planning to drive along a very well known scenic route called the Apache Trail. It starts in Globe where we spent one night. It is an old mining town. Initially, it was gold and silver that brought miners here. Today, the region is known for North America’s richest copper deposits.

When we visited the historic part of the town, we found it very depressing. The streets were empty, most of the stores and businesses were closed. Later, when I went for a walk, I spoke to an older man, who was born here, about this sad economic situation. He explained that the mines are constantly reducing their workforce, mainly because of the low price of copper. On top of that, opening of a Walmart store, twenty years ago, killed all small businesses. Globe is a pleasant town for older people, but young people have to look for a job elsewhere.

Since I don’t put depressing pictures on my blog, I chose some pleasant ones, all from Globe, Arizona.

IMG_9401

IMG_9402

IMG_9407

IMG_9408

IMG_9410

IMG_9411

IMG_9412

IMG_9413

IMG_9414

IMG_9415

IMG_9416

IMG_9419

IMG_9420

IMG_9418

IMG_9423

IMG_9424

IMG_9425

IMG_9426

Our hotel: Best Western Copper Hills Inn

Our hotel: Best Western Copper Hills Inn

 

Apache Land + Salt River Canyon

 

IMG_9278

Map of Arizona

As we drove from Holbrook to Globe today, we passed through three Apache Reservations. We stopped in the first one: Fort Apache Indian Reservation to take some pictures and buy some post cards.

IMG_9284

IMG_9286

IMG_9287

IMG_9288

IMG_9289

It was a cold and rainy day. But our moods started to improve when we saw this:

IMG_9310

IMG_9314

IMG_9319

IMG_9322

IMG_9323

IMG_9326

IMG_9327

Salt River Canyon. It is sometimes known as the Miniature Grand Canyon. More prehistoric time zones can be seen here than in the real Grand Canyon. Vegetation ranges from desert plants at the bottom to pine trees at the top.

IMG_9335

If you look carefully at the map you will see that the road between Show Low and Globe is crossed by a river. The name of that river is Salt River. The canyon is located 35 miles north of Globe, AZ 60/77.

IMG_9347

This canyon separates two Apache Reservations:

IMG_9353

IMG_9349

IMG_9355

IMG_9350

IMG_9362

IMG_9369

 

 

Route 66 + Holbrook, Arizona

If you think of American culture you should think: Route 66.

Route 66 is one of the famous roads in America, I would say it is the most famous road in America. It is also called Main Street of America or the Mother Road. It was established in 1926. It runs from Chicago to Los Angeles. Its length is 3,940km. It crosses the following states: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and it ends at Santa Monica in California. Now it is called “Historic Route 66”. Highway 40 in Arizona is part Route 66. You can see many signs along the highway, particularly in town. You can buy souvenirs with its logo. It became part of American modern or pop culture.

IMG_9261The symbols of Route 66 are this sign,

IMG_9260

big, old, American cars:

IMG_9252

IMG_9258

and buildings located along the road:

IMG_9268

It rains in Arizona????? We were also very surprised.

The above pictures are from Holbrook, Arizona. It is a gateway town to both Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Parks. We stayed in a very good Best Western Arizonian hotel. However, I would like to recommend a more original place.

IMG_9250

There is 16 of them, large wigwams with one or two bed. Each one of them has a bathroom. The cost for one night is $65 for one bed wigwam or $69 for two beds. I would definitely want to stay there. It is located on Hopi Street.

IMG_9251

IMG_9254

The front of each wigwam is decorated with an old car.

IMG_9255

IMG_9256

The newer car probably belongs to the person who stays here.

IMG_9257

We are finishing our stay in Holbrook and area with some sunset pictures and…

IMG_9070

IMG_9071

IMG_9072

IMG_9077

 

 

Painted Desert

Petrified Forest NP is south of I 40, near Holbrook, Az. North of it and north of I 40 is Painted Desert National Park. The two parks are connected, you pay only once. Painted Desert is smaller.

IMG_9226

IMG_9228

IMG_9229

Painted Desert Inn, National Historic Landmark, around 1920, built of petrified wood and other native stone. Today, it is a museum.

IMG_9231

IMG_9234

IMG_9235

IMG_9236

IMG_9238

IMG_9243

IMG_9245

IMG_9246

IMG_9247

Another thing I would like to recommend is talking to other travelers. People who go from place to place and very nice and open. They enjoy talking to others, sharing their experiences. You meet them at breakfast, on trails, in parks, they are everywhere. Meet Dan from Massachusetts.

IMG_9248

Together with his wife, they have traveled to all 50 states. They have an RV. Dan says: “Wherever we park our RV we call that place home”.

Badlands

Hello! If you have been to Drumheller, Alberta or South Dakota (Basia, Marek?) you know more about badlands. If not, here is your chance to become familiar with this unusual landscape:

IMG_9189

Let me give you my poetic explanation of what badlands are: it is a soul of a plain opened for you by erosion. Now a more scientific explanation:

IMG_9201

IMG_9202

This explanation is good but complicated. It is better to just look at them and admire.

IMG_9137

IMG_9196

IMG_9190

IMG_9197

IMG_9198

IMG_9209

IMG_9211

IMG_9212

IMG_9213

IMG_9214

IMG_9215

IMG_9219

IMG_9222

IMG_9224

 

IMG_9223

IMG_9225

Here is my favourite picture. It shows you how erosion uncovered all those pieces of petrified wood.

IMG_9192

Petrified Forest National Park

US national parks are amazing. I would risk to say the best in the world. Very well organized, excellent quality service and information. It is a paradise for people who love nature. When you plan a trip to the south-west, plan it around national parks and monuments. You will not be disappointed. State parks are great too, often recreation areas can surprise you. Today, I would like to invite you to see Petrified Forest National Park. From a desert plain we move to prehistoric tropical flooded plain in the times of dinosaurs.

Today this area looks like this:

IMG_9088

225 million years ago it looked like this:

IMG_9086

IMG_9106

Here are some of its inhabitants:

IMG_9084

IMG_9085

And here are petrified trees from that tropical swamp:

IMG_9087

IMG_9093They look like trees but when you touch them you can feel that it is a rock, sometimes very colorful.

IMG_9091

IMG_9101

IMG_9103

IMG_9097 So what happened? What kind of process changed the wood into stone?

IMG_9109

IMG_9111

IMG_9112

IMG_9118

They look so real.

They look so real.

IMG_9128

and not real.

and not real.

IMG_9135

Here is a natural bridge made out of a petrified tree:

IMG_9171

IMG_9179

According to the guy in the orange shirt, drunk cowboys used to ride on their horses on this bridge. That is why cowboys’ life expectancy was 21.

IMG_9167

IMG_9166

IMG_9168

 

 

Walnut Canyon National Monument

IMG_8924

Another amazing place to visit! Walnut Canyon is a place where the remains of 300 small 13th century cliff dwellings can be seen in the undercut layers of limestone. You can see them in many places in the canyon but the most fascinating is the Island Trail. This 0.9-mile loop passes 25 of the cliff dwelling rooms. They were inhabited by the Sinagua people 800 years ago.  The trail takes you around this steep round rock formation in the middle of the canyon. It is not really an island. But it is surrounded by a steep gorge.

IMG_9002

As you walk around the trail, you can learn a lot about the canyon life. I would like to show you what it looks today and what it looked in the past. Let’s have a tour of this complex and very unusual community!

First, look at the canyon:

IMG_9008

IMG_8925

And now the cliff dwellings

IMG_9003

IMG_8928

IMG_8930

IMG_8950

IMG_8951

IMG_8932

IMG_8933

IMG_8952

IMG_8954

IMG_8955

IMG_8949

IMG_8958

IMG_8959

 

The water was at the bottom of the canyon and their crops were cultivated on top of the canyon, above their dwellings.

IMG_8963

IMG_8961

IMG_8977

IMG_8970

IMG_8993

IMG_8994

IMG_8957

IMG_8981

IMG_8982

IMG_9016

 

 

Meteor Crater

IMG_9031

Dear Miner, thank you for your very kind comment!!!

I met Miner in Jerusalem last year. She works as a journalist and lives in the Philippines. This is what she wrote:

Wow! Thanks a lot, Joanna. The sites are great, the pictures are great, you are amazing with your shots. The backgrounders to accompany the photos are equally great. Thanks for the perfect song, too. It is as if I am also seeing Arizona, I am really away with you, too. I think minus the heat? Continue to have fun and share your photos and thoughts.

I must say, Minor, that the heat is not bad. Only between noon and 4pm. Mornings and evenings are cool, at night we open our window and we don’t need to use air conditioning. Please continue traveling with me!!!

Hello my patient blog readers!!!

Please look at this map carefully. Find Flagstaff. Above Flagstaff you will see a mountain range, the San Francisco Peaks. To the right from Flagstaff, you will find the Walnut Canyon NM. We will visit it in the next post.  And then further to the right, you will see the Meteor Crater.

IMG_9036

IMG_9037

IMG_9039

IMG_9040

IMG_9041

IMG_9053

IMG_9059

IMG_9061

IMG_9060

IMG_9042

Radek has always wanted to see this place. It was on top of his list of places to see in the world, together with Mount St. Helens in the state of Washington and with Alaska. You can see his joy:

IMG_9052

San Francisco Peaks

Thank you everybody for all your kind and encouraging comments. I enjoy working on this blog especially when I get lots of very positive feedback. Thank you Paul, Wendy and Bozenka, for your most recent comments.

This morning we have left the town of Prescott. We traveled north on I 17 towards Flagstaff.

IMG_8872

IMG_8874

I love taking pictures when we drive, simply because they show how quickly the views are changing.

IMG_8882

IMG_8891

The most beautiful sight on the way to Flagstaff are the San Francisco Peaks. It is a gorgeous volcanic range covered with snow. Humphreys Peak, at 12,633 feet (3,851 m) in elevation, is the highest mountain in Arizona. These mountains are truly spectacular.

IMG_8898

We are not the only ones impressed with their beauty. They have been sacred mountains for the local native peoples for centuries.

IMG_8909

Here, in Arizona, Native Americans joined forces in the 1970s to fight a long, disheartening legal battle against the white man to prevent him from desecrating their most sacred mountain by maintaining a ski resort on the peaks. The Indians tried to explain that these “mountains are our father and our mother”. “We come from them, we depend on them…each mountain is a person. The water courses are their veins and arteries. The water in them is to their life as our blood is to our bodies.”

IMG_8911

At the heart of the current controversy is a plan by the United States Forest Service and its business lessee, the Arizona Snowbowl, to expand a ski area that presently exists on the site. The expansion would involve clear cutting 74 acres of rare alpine ecosystem, making snow using reclaimed wastewater, and building a 14.8-mile buried pipeline to pump reclaimed wastewater. It also calls for resurfacing the site to allow for the construction of a three-acre, 10-million-gallon holding pond of reclaimed wastewater and purchasing up to 50 snowmaking machines. These machines could operate 24 hours a day and be audible up to two miles away. (culturalsurvival.org)

IMG_9020

The San Francisco Mountains are known to Navajo as “The Sacred Mountains of the West”.

IMG_9021

According to a respected biologist the 1,200 acre island of tundra above 11,400 foot elevation contour has been isolated from other tundra habitats long enough for several species of plants to evolve into unique forms.

IMG_9022

And here is a perfect song for today’s blog post: