November 23, 2012

11/08/12 – Wupatki NM

Wupatki National Monument is just 14 miles past Sunset Crater Volcano NM on a loop road, so we got two national monuments for the price of one.  (Actually, George's Senior Pass gets us in for free anyway, so I guess it's really two free parks for free.)
There are a bunch of ruins scattered over the desert in the park, several of them conveniently located next to the road.  Besides Wupatki, there are 4 others to explore; all the rest are off-limits.  (Oh, for Pete's sake!  How many pueblos do you think you need to see???  We skipped one ourselves.)

Wukoki Pueblo is a couple of miles down a spur road, then a short stroll from the parking lot.  It's up on a hill and looks a lot like a castle.  We had the whole thing to ourselves.  I think I liked this one best.
Wupatki Pueblo is right behind the Visitors Center.  With over 100 rooms, it's the largest dwelling in the monument.  Consider it a 12th century condo.
Sometimes big rocks are incorporated into the walls of the pueblo.   Think how many bricks they didn't have to haul up the hill!
A whole bus-load of kids from the Peach Springs reservation school had come halfway across the state to learn clan history.  They were down at the community circle doing a circle dance when we first got there, then they set off to explore the game circle and the blowhole.  (There's a cavern underground, and the air blows out in a small blast.  I thought it was fun too. )
Nalakihu and Citadel Pueblos are together.   Nalakihu has been reconstructed.  The Citadel on the rim of the mesa has only been stabalized.
Nalakihu Pueblo

Citadel Pueblo
There were signs at each of the pueblos saying  not to pick up pottery.  We didn't see any pottery not to pick up.  (And you know I wouldn't anyway.)
The expected storm was heading our way, so we scooted out of there.