Posts Tagged ‘national parks’

One of the pleasures of visiting my parents in Arizona is not only the opportunity to be warm in winter, but to sometimes dip into another culture.  Montezuma Castle, not far from Sedona, looks great for being over 800 years old.  The Sinagua who lived here used a combination of hunting/gathering and subsistence agriculture to live until sometime in the 15th century, they left for no apparent reason.

Originally, visitors were allowed to go through the cliff dwellings, but that eventually stopped to better preserve the site.  That move allowed the site to be one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in the United States.  Visit if you get a chance.

© janet m. webb

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Designated as a national monument in 1929 and not redesignated as a national park until November 10, 1978, the Badlands has one of the more interesting park names.  Once you’ve seen it, you can understand why the Lakota Sioux Indians called it Mako Sica, which has been translated as “land bad” and as “eroded land.”  French fur trappers called it  “les mauvaises terres a traverser” or  “bad lands to traverse.”  Of course, with modern roads, albeit winding ones, the trip is much easier, one anyone who has the chance should take.  But if you’re hiking, take lots of water, wear suntan lotion and a hat, and stay on the trails.

copyright janet m. webb

Yellow Mounds Overlook

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Our plan was to take a last-morning, long hike.  But with about 12+ hours of pouring rain, the conditions, although sunny, were less than stellar.  On the trail, any non-mucky surface would be slick rock and every tree or bush a dosing of water waiting to happy.  oI’ve been horseback riding in those conditions and a heavy-duty slicker is a must if you don’t want to send up soaked and shivering.  We didn’t have slickers, so after a leisurely early morning, we packed up and started to leave.

I say “started” because the beauty we saw that morning made me say/yell “Pull over whenever you can” at almost every turnout.  The clouds were hanging low, new snow dusted peaks, and the air was crisp.  What a farewell to a most gorgeous place!

© janet m. webb 2017

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