Visited Sunset Crater/Wapatki National Monument some 20-30 miles northeast of Flagstaff, Az. Sunset crater is a volcano which erupted about 1,000 years ago and blanketed the area with volcanic ash and lava flows. There were a number of obvious cinder cones in the area but the park service does not allow climbing on them because hikers were damaging the mountain. Instead, we focused on Wapatki which is a pueblo type dwelling some 15 miles up the road.
Before getting there we stopped at a scenic overlook facing east towards the Painted Desert. The photos below give some idea of the barren landscape. A much better photo rig than my poor digital camera would have been needed to see much of the Painted Desert (some 30-50 miles away at this point) but in person, it was spectacular.
Anyway, on to Wapatki.
My wife giving a little scale to the ruins...
These next few are close ups of the building technique. Although they look like brick, they are in fact sandstone slabs which have been fractured into flat slabs and put together with mortar of some type.
In several cases the builders incorporated large sandstone blocks into the site, thus adding stability and saving themselves a lot of work.
A few more shots of the area, including an area of presumed farms showing the back volcanic ash.
The white dot in the distance is my wife....I didn't feel like walking out to what they called the "ball court."
From there we went to another, smaller, ruin called Wukoki. Just a couple of rooms but the most distinctive feature was what seemed like a 3 story blockhouse. It reminded me of valleys in Italy each of which had a ruined watch tower.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.
-- George Carlin