Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. Thomas Merton

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Trips West 2013--Walnut Canyon National Monument

After a little sidetracking to do some hectic yarn spinning (fiber type yarn, not tall tales),  I'm back on the trail of places we visited during the summer.

Walnut Canyon National Monument (click for more info) is located near Flagstaff, Arizona. The monument is the site of some early inhabitants of the area who lived there from about AD 1100 to 1250. Exactly why they left is unknown. Personally, I'd say climbing up ladders to get home at the end of a day of tending crops would do it for me. Acutally, they might have been climbing down ladders to get to their dwellings if they planted crops up at the top of the canyon. There is considerable plant diversity in the area of the canyon. The inhabitants focused on growing corn (maize), beans, and squash--the "big three" of North American archaeology. The elevation at the top is 6700 feet and the bottom of the canyon is about 350 feet below. None of the cliff dwellings is accessible to the public, but may be viewed from the trails and visitor center.

A view of the cliff dwellings from the trail (you might need to click to enlarge)

Cliff dwellings as seen from the visitor center

Another view from the trail

Number 2 and Daughter at a stop along the canyon rim

Remains of a house along the canyon rim trail

Stay tuned. More to come. We still have Sedona, Meteor Crater, Petrified Forest, and more to cover.


  1. having to climb ladders to get home at the end of the busy day would certainly put me off, but hten you get used to things...

    1. You are so right, CGP, you get used to it. I guess you just do what you have to. It was more a case of safety and defense than convenience for those folks.

  2. Beautiful photos. There is so much wonder and mystery in the past. I can't imagine how difficult their lives must have been but for them it just was.

    1. Yes, Christina. We base so much of what we do on convenience and comfort these days. I remember attending an interesting session at a living history conference a few years ago in which clothing styles of the past were discussed, especially with regard to comfort. The many layers of clothing that folks wore on a daily basis, the various underpinnings of the ladies, how the clothing affected their movement, why certain looks were favored. One thing that was brought out was that our concept of "comfort" is quite different today than it was in the past. We have really become spoiled in our thinking of what comfort is, as well as convenience.