We had a great day on Saturday. After a leisurely morning sipping our coffee and ordering Christmas presents on-line, we headed out to check out a couple of National Parks/Monuments in the area. (As new owners of a Park Pass, weâ€™re all about getting our money’s worth!). First stop â€“
Casa Grande Ruins
â€œCasa Grande Ruins National Monument preserves an ancient Hohokam farming community and “Great House.” Created as the nationâ€™s first archeological reserve in 1892, the site was declared a National Monument in 1918 â€œin order that better provision may be made for the protection, preservation and care of the ruins and the ancient buildings and other objects of prehistoric interest thereon.â€ â€œ
It was interesting, in an archeological sort of way. I wonder sometimes, though, how much conjecture is used as they try to piece together the lives of these native people that lived here in the 300â€™s! So much is unknown â€“ like why did they leave when they had such an extensive community there and where did they go? Ah, the puzzle of it all!
From there we were heading to Tonto National Memorial â€“ another cliff dwelling preservation. This one was pretty far away, so we decided to combine it with a scenic drive called the Apache Trail that a friend had recommended. What a great choice!
It started out macadam â€“
Turned to Dirt â€“
And then turned to One Lane Blind Corner Dirt. (at least there were guard rails!)
And along the way â€“ ah, the views â€“
At the end of the O-L-B-C Dirt Road we came to the Roosevelt Dam â€“
And past the Dam â€“ this lovely bridge!
After several hours (and more clicks of the camera that I care to admit!) – we finally made it to Tonto National Monument.
It was only a half mile walk up to the cliff dwellings â€“
But it was uphill ALL THE WAY!
But again, the views were worth the heart palpitations!
A beautiful sunset sky on the way home,
dinner at The Olive Garden (paid for with a gift card), and filling up the truck for $26.00 â€“($1.57/gal. â€“ are we in a time warp?) all made for a lovely finish for a lovely day.
One more picture â€“ (sorry)
They went thataway!
PS – MANY more Apache Trail Photos are here!