Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Montezuma's Castle

We spent a lovely day today travelling through the mountains (small by Alberta standards) to the cliff dwellings called Montezuma's Castle - a misnomer since Montezuma never got this far north and it really isn't a castle. But it was spectacular anyway. That's it way up where that cave in the cliff is.

Wendy and Randy standing by a sign on the trail. It was the most beautifully arranged monument I've ever seen - very quiet, peaceful and natural with a hushed, reverent feeling about it. The actual cliff dwelling is fragile now so people aren't allowed to climb up to it.

At the base of the cliff there's an expanse where the cliff dwellers used to farm, with this river, Beaver River, running by the edge of it.

There were lots of beautiful white trees, Arizona Sycamore, that had smooth white bark with mottled patterns.

A small grove of Arizona sycamores.

Lloyd and Randy resting against the sycamores

I'm sitting here on the lower ledge of the cliff dwelling of "the people next door". It isn't in as good condition as Montezuma's Castle but it shows where the second group of people used to live.

This is part of their wall with windows built into the front.

Now here's three more shots of Montezuma's Castle. We really missed having Mickey on this little expedition. At one time or another each one of us mentioned how much she would have loved it there, with so many pictures to take. Next time you're down here Mickey, we go there for sure.

This last one is a picture of a diarama that had been built to show a cut-away of the interior of the dwelling, explaining what each area was used for. Quite ingenious people back then. No one knows what happened to the ancients who lived there for over 300 years, or why they deserted their home. The cliff homes were warm in the winter and cool in the summer, although I'd hate to have to raise kids up there.

I'd recommend it as a 'must-see' to everyone within a half day's drive of Camp Verde, Arizona.


sara said...

how far was it?

Pat MacK said...

90 miles from Phoenix. From our house it took 1 hr & 45 minutes.

Mickey said...

Yes I would have loved to see this in person. I saw something similar just yesterday in a travelogue I think of Iran?!
Sure looks like you are having fun.

Kath said...

These cliff dwellings are fascinating. We visited the ones in Mesa Verde,CO. Cant wait to take the kids there some day.

You need yourself a "van" so you have a mobile craft room!!!!!! Then you'd have all your supplies in AZ with you too.

lois said...

Those photos are wonderful...looks like a really interesting place to wander!

Debbie Y. said...

Very interesting and informational. I wish I was vacationing.