Sunset in the Coconino National Forest, looking northeast toward Sedona, AZ, 4/17/15

Monday, April 26, 2010

Arizona Visitations, April 23-26

After overnighting in Quartzsite, I visited Casa Grande NM, site of a prehistoric 3-story building (and town) of the agrarian Hohokum people. Amazing ... two round holes in the building line up perfectly with the sunset on the summer solstice ... and two square holes line up with a cycle of the moon that happens every 13.5 years ... amazing.  The company that built the covering structure for the 3-story ruin in the 1930's, is the same company that built the Empire State Building.   

Then I spent time at Saguaro NP ... did a few hikes, scenic drives, watched & listened to the wildlife, enjoyed the wildflowers, and the stately saguaro cactus forests.   The park is divided into an east and west district, with Tucson in between.  I spent a day on each side.  Can you find the little lizard found on one of my hikes in the picture?

On my way eastward, I took a 40 mile diversion to overnight at Chiricahua NM with those wonderful rock formations that look like they are going to topple over any minute.  I'm so glad I decided to visit this place at the last minute.  Legend has it that you can see the great Apache Warrior Cochise's head looking skyward in the distant rocks. 

On my way back to I-10, I took the dirt road over Apache Pass to Fort Bowie NHS.

The desert of the Southwest is beyond big.  It's hot and dry ... and it's also diverse.  I was astonished at the number of different types of cacti, shrubs, trees ... I'm glad I was here in the spring to enjoy the blooms.

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