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Our next stop was:  Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks NM .  Here’s a little information on them…

 

The Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is a remarkable outdoor laboratory, offering an opportunity to observe, study, and experience the geologic processes that shape natural landscapes.  The National Monument, on the Pajarito Plateau in north-central New Mexico, includes a national recreation trail and ranges from 5,570 feet to 6,760 feet above sea level.  It is for foot travel only, and contains two segments that provide opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, geologic observation, and plant identification.

The cone-shaped tent rock formations are the products of volcanic eruptions that occurred 6 to 7 million years ago and left pumice, ash, and tuff deposits over 1,000 feet thick.  Tremendous explosions from the Jemez volcanic field spewed pyroclasts (rock fragments), while searing hot gases blasted down slopes in an incandescent avalanche called a “pyroclastic flow.”

Precariously perched on many of the tapering hoodoos are boulder caps that protect the softer pumice and tuff below.  Some tents have lost their hard, resistant caprocks, and are disintegrating.  While fairly uniform in shape, the tent rock formations vary in height from a few feet up to 90 feet.

 

It is amazing to see rock formations looking like Indian Tents!

 

 

 

Leaving the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks and on our way to Old Town.

I don’t think I’d want this long horned steer chasing me!

 

Old Town Albuquerque NM .. A place to easily spend money! lol.

(Recognize anyone?!)

These two played for tips and were selling their CD, Pahaukume, Chasing Dreams.. which I bought.

After a day at Tent Rocks and shopping in Old Town Cathy drove to Moriarty, New Mexico where we spent the night, where we spent the night .

Monument Valley

 The Monument Valley is partly in Arizona and partly in Utah.  Utah.. yet another state I had never seen.  This trip took us through 13 states in 12 days.If anyone had told me that this was something I would do one day, I’d have thought them crazy!  But there was so much to see, it was way more than I ever expected….

So now, with more photos… I take you along the roads we drove to get to Monument Valley….

 

 

Some beautiful sights before we even got there!

I call this the rainbow mountain.  I have to idea what it is really called but it looks like a brown toned rainbow to me!

 

 

A little flora while we walked back to see “the crack in the ground”.

The signs really make you want to take hikes eh?!

 

All of this was a “small” crack in the earth, nothing close to “mama” Grand Canyon!

And so…. the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park begins!

This great valley boasts sandstone masterpieces that tower at heights of 400 to 1,000 feet. framed by scenic clouds casting shadows that graciously roam the desert floor. The angle of the sun accents these graceful formations, providing scenery that is simply spellbinding.

The landscape overwhelms, not just by its beauty but also by its size.  The fragile pinnacles of rock are surrounded by miles of mesas and buttes, shrubs, trees and windblown sand, all comprising the magnificent colors of the valley.  All of this harmoniously combines to make Monument Valley a truly wondrous experience.  Enjoy this beautiful land.

Navajo Name: Tse’Bii’Ndzisgaii
Elevation: 5,564′ above sea level
Size: 91,696 acres
(extends into Arizona & Utah)

 

 

 

Back on the Ground

Back on the ground, after our flight, we drove to a few different view points at the Canyon and.. big surprise.. took pictures!

 

 

Can you see what Cathy is pointing at??

We needed more photo’s…

I don’t know the name of this plant but I kept calling it a “wannabe” because it looks like a mini plant that “wants to be a Saguaro”

How lucky can we get? a second day ending at the Canyon!

 Desert View Watchtower is a 70-foot (21 m)-high stone building located on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon within Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, United States. The four-story structure, completed in 1932, was designed by American architect Mary Colter, an employee of the Fred Harvey Company who also created and designed many other buildings in the Grand Canyon vicinity including Hermit\’s Rest and the Lookout Studio.

 

 

 

Next we are off to Monument Valley!

There’s not a lot I can say about viewing the Canyon from the air except.. you do get a better perception of the size of it!  But even with this your mind knows that there is so much more…………..

 

 Located in northern Arizona, the Grand Canyon is known throughout the world for its size and colorful landscape. Measuring over 270 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and a mile deep, the canyon’s walls contain rock layers that reveal a timeline of Earth’s history. It has been a locale for human use and occupation for millennia, with ruins and artifacts from inhabitants dating back nearly 12,000 years, In the early 1800s, trappers and expeditions sent by the U.S. government began to explore and map the canyon. It was first afforded Federal protection in 1893 as a Forest Reserve and later a National Monument, achieving National Park status in 1919.

 

 

 

…flying high, into the wild blue yonder….

 

 

 

 

The flight was only 45 minutes, and you can bet on the fact that this is only a “few” of the photo’s I took while in the air!  If you ever go to the Grand Canyon make sure that you take a airplane or helicopter flight… the experience is worth it!

Outside out hotel and to each side of it were plenty of things to see and photograph… so of course, I did!

The first 2 photo’s were right outside of the front door to our hotel..  This Indian and horse are all made of metal.

and close by is this beautiful Arizona plant arrangement. 

Off to the right I spotted these old cars…

Inside the store… well.. if I were rich………… never mind!

(gawd, I love leather saddles!)

The headdresses were gorgeous!

 

But just a short walk more was a shop that sold Gem Stones.

.. but outside blew my mind!   All sorts of horses and western scenes.. made of metal! I can’t even imagine how long it took the artist to make them all!

 

Ouch! Ouch! Baby T.Rex is hungry!

Ooooo, my “Dead Fred” has company! Wish I could have afforded one!

Awww, I found a bunny under the wagon wheel!

He came out to see me!

So… the next blog post will be views of the Grand Canyon from the air!!!

After our travels around Sedona we continued out drive.  We had lunch in Flagstaff …. and from that time on, Mt. Humphrey was in and out of our sight as we drove until we got to our hotel , and even when we got to our room and opened the drapes.. there it was once again! The Grand Canyon Inn in Valle AZ. gave us our Mt Humphrey view.

 

We decided there was still a few hours of daylight so we took off for the Canyon to take pictures and see the sun set at the Canyon.  Here are some of the sights we beheld as we waited for the sun to set…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We took some pictures of each other.. just to remember we were really  here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cathy gets “edgy”…

…ack! don’t jump Cathy!  I can’t drive your car!

 

 

 

 

 

Even after climbing down and back up part of the Canyon we all need some rest!

No matter how much I see it’s surreal .

 

My favorite tree at the South Ridge…

 

Finally…. the sun was setting.  Photo’s would have been better if we had clouds… but we had a super clear sky!

 

Sunset at the Grand Canyon.  …..  incredible.

On the Road Again…

After we left Larry, and our fantastic lunch,  The Ghost Town, and the Apache Trail, we drove a few more hours and found a hotel at Camp Verde, Arizona.

The next morning, when we got our rears in gear, we went to see Montezuma’s Castle.

I found out that long ago People were allowed to climb ladders and see inside.. but due to stealing and destruction that is no longer possible.

A Little History about the Castle…

On December 8, 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt celebrated the passage of the Antiquities Act by declaring four sites of historic and cultural significance as our nation’s first National Monuments. Among these was Montezuma Castle, which the President identified as a place “of the greatest ethnological value and scientific interest.” Although very few original artifacts remained in the structure due to intensive looting of the site, Roosevelt’s decision assured the continued protection of one of the best preserved prehistoric cliff dwellings in North America.

Montezuma Castle National Monument quickly became a destination for America’s first car-bound tourists. In 1933, “Castle A”, a 45-50 room, pueblo ruin was excavated, uncovering a wealth of artifacts and greatly enhanced our understanding of the Sinagua people who inhabited this riparian “oasis” along Beaver Creek for over 400 years.

Below is a display of that the inside looks like.

 

 

 

This is a Palo Verde Tree, the state tree of Arizona. The bark is green!

Cathy at the Castle…

 

Moi, at the castle…

 

Leaving Montezuma Castle and back on the road, and headed towards the Grand Canyon Cathy decided that we would go through Sedona as we had heard that it was a sight not to be missed.

Most of my pictures were taken from the car as we drove around Sedona, before stopping at the welcome /souvenir place. (Poor Cathy.. I just HAD to look in every souvenir place! lol)

The sights were very impressive! No where could you look when there wasn’t something to photograph!

 

 

…. many look vaguely familiar as backgrounds from old westerns!

Never saw pink cactus before! I discovered it’s called a Violet prickly pear. 

This is on the drive out of Sedona , as we once again trekked towards… “The Canyon”!!