Waputki National Monument Saturday, Jul 23 2016 

Wukoki Pueblo

Wukoki Pueblo

When we previously visited the Waputki National Monument, we took the 0.5 mile loop trail around the Wupatki Pueblo. On this trip we took the spur road to visit the Wukoki Pueblo. The word “Wukoki” is a modern Hopi word for “Big House.” From 1120-1210, two or three Kayenta Pueblean families probably lived in this three-story structure with a commanding view.

 

Citadel Trail

Citadel Trail

Our next stop allowed us to walk by the Nalakihu Pueblo and up 0.2 of mile to the Citadel Pueblo. Perched atop a lava-capped mesa, Citadel has a commanding view of the neighboring villages and surrounding countryside, from a deep sink below the mesa to the not so distant San Francisco Peaks.

 

Lomaki Pueblo

Lomaki Pueblo

Our final stop allowed us to visit the Box Canyon dwellings and the Lomaki Pueblo. The word “Lomaki” means “Beautiful house.” Signage explained that the sandstone and limestone walls were cemented with local soil. Flat roofs made of timber would have been plastered over with mud. It was interesting to visit some of the world’s most intact and culturally revealing archaeological sites.

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument Saturday, Jul 23 2016 

Lenox Crater Trail Vista

Lenox Crater Trail Vista

Northern Arizona is a landscape shaped by volcanic activity such as the eruption forming the Sunset Crater less than 1,000 years ago. A few years ago when we visited the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument we hiked the Lava Flow Trail. On this visit we hiked the Lenox Crater Trail, a 600 foot elevation change in a mile. The rim of this 250-foot high cinder-cone volcano offered an interesting vista. We returned the way we came because I didn’t realize that within the past year, a loop was completed. We walked through part of the Bonito lava flow and were amazed at how some trees were able to grow in the midst of this lava. We stopped at the Cinder Hills Overlook for a great view of Sunset Crater. We stopped at the Painted Desert Vista near the Kana-A lava flow.

Lowell Observatory Saturday, Jul 23 2016 

Clark Telescope

Clark Telescope

The Lowell Observatory, founded in 1894 by Percival Lowell, has played an important role in science history. Our tour guide, Kevin Schindler, introduced us to such achievements as the discovery of Pluto, observations about Mars, mapping the Moon, and developing the basis for the theory of an expanding universe. We learned about the recent renovation of the Clark Telescope before seeing this impressive telescope for ourselves. The nearby Mausoleum for Percival Lowell (1855-1916) features an impressive dome. Our stop at the Putnam Collection Center lobby offered us the opportunity to see “Big Red,” Percival Lowell’s 1911 Stevens-Duryea automobile. Another exhibit, “The Millionaire,” displays a motorized calculating machine used from 1914 into the 1930s. I appreciated the opportunity to walk between the stacks of the library housed in this building. Later we learned that the Lowell Observatory is home to 14 astronomers who study everything from Pluto, to the Sun, to distant galaxies using seven telescopes, including a giant Discovery Channel Telescope located about 40 miles away. For more than 50 years, Lowell Observatory has played a major role in the protection of “dark skies.” In 2001, Flagstaff was designated as the world’s first international Dark Sky City.

Riordan Mansion Saturday, Jul 23 2016 

Riordan Mansion

Riordan Mansion

During the stormy weather, our tour guide, Amy, introduced us to the Riordan Mansion State Historic Park. Lumber baron brothers Timothy and Michael Riordan married sisters, Caroline and Elizabeth Metz, and raised their families in a duplex mansion with separate living quarters and a large common recreation room. This remarkable 13,000 square-foot home, built in 1904, is an example of the American Arts & Crafts Style. Charles Whittlesey, chief architect for the Santa Fe Railroad’s stations and hotels, designed the home which features a rustic exterior of log-slab siding, volcanic stone arches, and hand-split wooden shingles. The interior includes open floor plans, exposed structural elements, walk-in closets, and built-in storage features. It made use of hot and cold running water, skylights, and stained glass. Simple, functional handcrafted furniture designed and built by Gustav Stickley, a premier exponent of the American Arts & Crafts Style, is on display. The impressive Steinway piano conveyed the interest in music and, of course, I was pleased to see built-in bookshelves lining the walls filled with books.

Arizona Snowbowl Saturday, Jul 23 2016 

Arizona Snowbowl

Arizona Snowbowl

We drove about 14 miles to Arizona Snowbowl planning to take the 25-minute chairlift from an elevation of 9,500 feet to 11,500 feet. Because the weather looked threatening we decided to save this ride for another day. We later learned that three Tempe young people were on the mountain when one of them was struck by lightning and died.

Fatman’s Loop Trail Saturday, Jul 23 2016 

Alligator Juniper

Alligator Juniper

Wednesday morning we hiked Fatman’s Loop Trail #25, a moderate to strenuous two-mile hike that starts at 6,900 feet and rises to 7,500 feet below Mount Elden. We noted several giant ancient alligator juniper trees on the lower slopes. The trail meanders through interesting rock formations, including one with a tight squeeze hence the trail’s name.

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