Lava flows and ruins
Trip Start Jul 12, 2008
9Trip End Jul 24, 2008
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We got to Sunset Crater just in time for the ranger-led tour. We watched the storm clouds gathering as they told us about the geologic and anthropological history of the place, but fortunately it held off long enough for them to finish before it broke in force. Refusing to be daunted by the downpour, we donned our rain gear and explored a bit of the Bonito lava flow.
Driving on, we made several short overlook stops. Next we looked around the Wupatki Visitor Center, and then found a picnic table at which to share the contents of our respective coolers, which turned out to be quite the lunch spread. That gave us plenty of energy to explore Wupatki Pueblo, with its restored "high rise," community room, ball court, and spectacular setting
We made one more stop to hike the short trail to Lomaki Pueblo and the box canyon dwellings before leaving the park loop. The trading post at Cameron took us a mile out of the way, but we scored some good t-shirts and a hat. It also took long enough to make us wonder whether we'd be on time for our 6 pm orientation at the Grand Canyon, but we made it there just in time.
After our guide, Elaine, explained our itinerary for the next two days, we checked in at Yavapai Lodge and settled into our rooms with the customary cocktail hour. We tried to check out sunset at the rim, but were met with the darkness of gathering storm clouds in the canyon instead. The rain started during dinner (at the Yavapai cafeteria--nothing fancy, but included in the package), and did not let up by the time we finished, so Allen got to say "I told you so" as he ran to the car without the umbrella we talked him out of bringing in.