Our West Coast Adventures during 2013 travel blog

Oak Creek Canyon Overlook

Oak Creek Canyon Overlook

Oak Creek Canyon Overlook

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Sunset Crater National Monument

Sunset Crater National Monument

Sunset Crater National Monument

Sunset Crater National Monument

Sunset Crater National Monument

Sunset Crater National Monument

Sunset Crater National Monument

Sunset Crater National Monument

Sunset Crater National Monument

Sunset Crater National Monument

Sunset Crater National Monument

Sunset Crater National Monument

Sunset Crater National Monument

Sunset Crater National Monument

Wukoki Pueblo Ruins

Wukoki Pueblo Ruins

Wukoki Pueblo Ruins

Wukoki Pueblo Ruins

Wukoki Pueblo Ruins

Wukoki Pueblo Ruins

Wukoki Pueblo Ruins

Wukoki Pueblo Ruins

Wukoki Pueblo Ruins

Wukoki Pueblo Ruins

Wukoki Pueblo Ruins

Wukoki Pueblo Ruins

Wukoki Pueblo Ruins

Wukoki Pueblo Ruins

Wukoki Pueblo Ruins

Wupatki Pueblo Ruins

Wupatki Pueblo Ruins

Wupatki Pueblo Ruins

Wupatki Pueblo Ruins

Wupatki Pueblo Ruins

Wupatki Pueblo Ruins

Wupatki Pueblo Ruins

Wupatki Pueblo Ruins

Wupatki Pueblo Ruins

Wupatki Pueblo Ruins

Wupatki Pueblo Ruins

Lomaki Pueblo Ruins

Lomaki Pueblo Ruins

Lomaki Pueblo Ruins

Lomaki Pueblo Ruins

Lomaki Pueblo Ruins

Lomaki Pueblo Ruins

Lomaki Pueblo Ruins

Lomaki Pueblo Ruins

Lomaki Pueblo Ruins

Lomaki Pueblo Ruins

Lomaki Pueblo Ruins

Lomaki Pueblo Ruins

Lomaki Pueblo Ruins

Lomaki Pueblo Ruins


We (Pat, Reggi and I) drove up Oak Creek Canyon on our way to Walnut Creek National Monument, we stopped at the Oak Creek Canyon Overlook. Walnut Canyon contains dwellings sheltered by overhanging cliffs that were home to Walnut Canyon's only permanent inhabitants more than 800 years ago. Inside the Canyon and throughout the Ponderosa pine forest and Walnut trees on its rims, the native people lived by farming, hunting deer and small game, gathering an assortment of useful plants, and trading. These people are today known as Sinagua - Spanish for "without water" - a tribute to their ability to turn a relatively dry region into a homeland.

After our two hour journey through history in Walnut Canyon, we drove to Flagstaff to have lunch at La Fonda's Mexican Restaurant, great food, has been in the same family for four generations and is one of four restaurants owned by the family. We then drove to Sunset Crater National Monument and the loop past Wukoki, Wupatki, and Lomaki Pueblo Ruins.

Sunset Crater erupted sometime between 104 and 1100 and is the most recent in a six million year history of volcanic activity in the Flagstaff area. The cinder cone reminds us of the powerful forces that shape the earth. The volcanic forces have created more than 600 hills and mountains in the San Francisco Volcanic Field, including San Francisco Peaks north of Flagstaff. The eruption spayed molten rock and cinders that created the cinder fields, which were used in the 1960s for astronaut training in order to prepare them for a moon landing.

We drove to pueblo ruins - Wukoki, Wupatki, and Lomaki - the Native Americans living in these pueblos just northeast of Flagstaff were pushed from their homes when the volcanos erupted, a few generations later they returned to grow crops for another 100 years in the shadow of Sunset Crater. The current vegetation has adapted to the lava and cinders.



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