Birthday Surprise Day 3 (Part 2) Exploring Nature around Flagstaff
Don't forget to scroll down to my post about the book giveaway and add your comment to get in the drawing. I'll announce the winner on Tuesday night.
So, on to the next report...after the kids headed east and west, Terry and I checked into our hotel, then decided to head out to a place that we hadn't been since the kids were young. Walnut Canyon, a great place to go in the summer to get out of the Phoenix heat and enjoy the cool and green of the north country.
Walnut Canyon is filled with Indian ruins and caves in the rocks that you can actually walk in and imagine what it would have been like to live in these dwellings hundreds of years ago.
Unfortunately, when we arrived we were surprised to discover that two separate rock falls had damaged the main trail at Walnut Canyon National Monument last December, 2007, depositing a 49-ton boulder, several other large rocks, and 100 additional tons of debris on the most popular Island Trail. The slide demolished concrete stairs, handrails, and a bench. The trail was immediately closed to the public, and park staff began assessing the cleanup process. According to reports, the project has proved more complicated than it first appeared, and the trail will remain closed through at least September of this year. If you plan to go up there sometime, I'd recommend calling first to see if the trail is open, since it serves as the only access to the cliff dwellings (the most interesting part).
Posted here are some pics of some of the wildlife that we saw. If you click to enlarge the 4th photo you can see at least 3 different dwellings in the sides of the canyon. You can see in a couple of the other photos what the dwellings look like from closer up.
In the 6th photo from the top, you should be able to see the large bird (hawk?) flying on the right side of the picture. It was really cool to see these birds soaring below us, when we stood at the overlook.
Even though we couldn't walk down to the dwellings, we still had a nice time. As you can see the clouds were a bit ominous and we heard some thunder and got sprinkled on a little, but we look forward to that around here. It's a nice change of pace.
Next we visited the Flagstaff Arboretum...