Larry & Lee Ann's Journey travel blog

Arriving at the Well...

Wow, it's amazing...

We're beginning our descent to the bottom...

Whew, we made it...

At the bottom is this 800 year old ruin...

And a shot of some up near the top...

A better shot of our way down...

The irrigation ditch I nearly took a swim in!

Replete with Poison Ivy, wouldn't that have been nice???

We climbed back up...

One final shot...well worth the hike for this!

Next stop, Jerome...

We climbed this set of stairs...

To eat at the Haunted Hamburger...

This was our view, that's our campground bottom left...

Check out this cake! It was at least 10 inches tall...We didn't...

A shot of the town as we departed, well part of it...

The moon was out tonight...

I liked it's reflection in the river, a nice ending to a...


We left the Castle after enjoying our picnic lunch, and traveled to the Montezuma Well, approximately 11 miles to the south. We parked, gathered up our walking sticks and leashed Onyx in order to take the one-third mile self-guided loop trail to the rim of the sinkhole. Unlike the $5 charge at the Castle, there is free entrance to the Well. It was a bit warmer, as it was later in the afternoon, but still reasonably nice with a slight breeze.

We learned that Montezuma's Well is a sinkhole, a collapsed underground limestone cavern filled with water. More than a million gallons of water a day flow continuously, providing a lush, verdant oasis in the midst of surrounding desert grassland. The Well is 368 feet across and 55 feet deep; it sits at an elevation of 3,618 feet.

Locating the source of the well's water has researchers baffled. Tests using gas and dye have been performed, but so far, no connection has been established between the well's water and any other water source in the area. For trivia lovers, in May 1948, the U.S. Park Service used scuba equipment for the first time ever, to explore Montezuma's Well. They wanted to find out how deep it was. The divers went down about fifty feet, and then they noticed they couldn't see in front of themselves, even a few inches. It turns out that the real bottom was fifteen more feet down, and they were swimming in dark brown mud along with a few million leeches. Yuck, can you imagine?

Under the cliff edge the Sinagua Indians built several stone cliff dwellings, some quite well preserved, while the surrounding rim has other sites that now are just jumbled piles of stones. The path continues across a plateau and down to the exit channel of the well, where water emerges from the base of a limestone cliff and flows down a short ditch lined with white-barked Arizona sycamore trees before joining the permanent stream of Wet Beaver Creek. A source of water to the fields of the ancient peoples, the ditches were dug A.D. 1200-1300. This is known as the first irrigation system in the state of Arizona. An updated version of this system is still used to irrigate crops in the state today. I was so involved trying to see a beautiful bird and this irrigation system, that I missed the top step. Flailing my arms wildly I flew through the air the next 6-7 steps, until a petite little lady grabbed my arm and finally stopped my rapid descent! Good thing she was very strong or I would have been taking a very unwanted afternoon bath! LOL

Ok, guess I've had enough walking/hiking for today! We headed back to the truck, anxious to take a nice cool shower and a short nap. Around 5:30 we drove the 10 miles or so up the mountain to the old mining town of Jerome. Stan recommended that we have a burger at the Haunted Hamburger. Wow, it was awesome. As was the view from the terrace. We did have one heck of a set of stairs to climb to reach our destination. Larry did very well all day by the way. These new knees are wonderful!

So that's it for now. Tomorrow we have a very full day planned. Time to hit the sack. I am ready!



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