We maximized Elliot’s car rental with an early morning road trip out to Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument and Wupatki National Monument. We also took in a view of the Painted Desert.
Sunset Crater Volcano erupted around 1100 AD. The lava fields and cinder dunes are still bare in places over 900 years later.
Pueblos dot the Wupatki landscape. Built in the 1100s from sandstone, limestone and clay-based mortar, these structures vary from one-story homes to three-story buildings with 100 rooms. It’s difficult to imagine, but this area was once a vast farming community numbering in the 1000s. The volcano eruption improved the agricultural potential due to the layer of ash that absorbed moisture and prevented evaporation, as well as caused a climate change that provided more rainfall.
Wukoki Pueblo seems to grow out of the rock it was built upon. What a view!
Wupatki Pueblo is the largest pueblo in the park, once serving as a community gathering place as well as housing up to 100 people.
After we returned the rental car we checked out a local Flagstaff brewery for food and drink with the help of our new Arizona map.
Later in the evening, Austin and Theresa invited us to their eldest son’s baseball game where he hit the winning run. Way to go Garrett! We all celebrated with Theresa’s delicious no bake cookies – Yum! We might try to make these out on the road. We’ll make sure to let you know how they turn out.