June 24, 2012

Trip Start Apr 28, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Sunday, June 24, 2012

After 2 days of rest, today was a beautiful sunny day,
and perfect for traveling.  We drove
north on I-17 to Flagstaff where we picked up U.S. Rt. 89 north to “Sunset
Crater Volcano Nat’l Monument”.  Erupting
sometime between 1040 AD and 1100 AD Sunset crater is the most recent eruption
in a six million year history of volcanic activity in the Flagstaff area.  The mountains in the area are all the result
of volcanic activity, with the most recent ones still showing evidence of the
volcanic rock, cinders and the lava flows
Immediately surrounding the Sunset Crater are large lava flows and
cinder fields that are starting to show signs of plant life returning to the
area.  We took a short walk through the cinder
field and along the side of the lava flow, it was an awesome sight.  The rock from the lava flow here was jagged
and made up of rocks with very sharp edges. 
This is in stark contrast to the lava flow we saw in California, which
had the appearance of a rolling flow of the lava.  We continued along a loop road through the
National Forest passing another lava flow and many cinder domes that were once
active volcanos.  This road took us to
the Wupatki National Monument where we viewed and climbed through the most
fascinating Pueblo structure; this was once a multi-level, high-rise
pueblo.  Not much of the original
structure remains, but from what does remain you can ascertain that the people
living here were master builders, and not just some nomad throwing some rocks
into a pile and calling it a wall.  This
structure had thick straight walls that were perched atop huge boulders, with
outside corners that were a remarkable 90 degree angle.  From what we could see it appeared that the
main structure was at least 3 levels high with a roof that also functioned as
living or working space.  And where it
was built it commanded a fantastic view of all the surrounding area, and was
also a wonderful defensive position. 
Close by was another Pueblo, but this one was comprised of many
buildings that were separate from each other, much like a modern village, and there
were also several circular areas that were used for gatherings of some
type.  After completing the loop road we
emerged onto U.S. Rt. 89 and turned south toward Flagstaff, in Flagstaff we
picked up I-40 east.  We camped for the
night at Root 66 RV Park, right off the inter-state, which is a small Passport
America campground.  The traffic noise is
significant and could pose a problem sleeping. 
Here we met Jane & Bill Nemeth from Ohio, they were driving a class
C unit, and we exchanged addresses. 

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