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Rafting The Grand Canyon & SW USA - September 2007
Phoenix, AZ To Page, AZ
Sunday morning we had breakfast with Linda and headed out. Our final destination for the day was Page, AZ. We made a few stops on the way.
Montezuma's Castle National Monument is a pueblo built into the side of a cliff. There is a nice walkway leading to it. It is one of the best preserved existing cliff dwellings. Next to it is a much larger pueblo, but there is evidence that at some point there had been a fire in it so it is not nearly as well preserved.
We had thought that cliff dwellers lived in caves. The pueblos are actually wood and clay structures built into the side of the cliff.
We do not have any pictures of Montezuma's Castle because the camera would not turn on. The battery was dead and it takes a special battery that we could not get there.
You can find out more about this National Monument at National Park Service.
Our next stop was at Montezuma's well. This is a spring feed pond enclosed by cliffs. There is a pueblo built into the cliff on the side where the spring comes in.
There is a fairly easy path down to a spot across from the pueblo. This is the exit point of the spring. We went down the path at the end of which was a cave that was nice and cool. The spring exits under the cliff at this point.
We went back to the top and followed another path to where the spring comes back out. This was a really great spot to sit and enjoy nature. Some of us sat on the edge of the spring to dangle feet in the spring.
A few interesting facts about the well from Desert USA
We stopped on the way back to Phoenix and took a few pictures from the top and where the spring emerges after exiting the well.
- Montezuma's Well is a sinkhole, a collapsed underground limestone cavern filled with water. More than a million gallons of water a day flow continuously, providing a lush, verdant oasis in the midst of surrounding desert grassland. Montezuma's Well is 368 feet across and 55 feet deep; it sits at an elevation of 3,618 feet.
- Locating the source of the well's water has researchers baffled. Tests using gas and dye have been performed, but so far, no connection has been established between the well's water and any other water source in the area. For trivia lovers, in May 1948, the U.S. Park Service used scuba equipment for the first time ever, to explore Montezuma's Well.
- The well is a unique ecosystem with several plants and animals found nowhere else on earth. There are leeches, amphipods, water scorpions and turtles that live in this closed ecosystem. This remarkable habitat is perhaps due to the receiving and the discharging of large quantities of warm water (76° F) that enters through underground springs, keeping the environment within the well very stable.
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Dave and Sharon said that Sedona was one of the most beautiful places they had ever seen, so we stopped there. The first thing We did was buy a battery for our camera and a spare battery as well.
Wherever you are in Sedona, there are colorful mountains wherever you look. Most of the pictures we took were from the main street. We then went up the road toward the airport because we were told that it was a great place from which to see a sunset.
We stopped at a turnout and the scenery was magnificent. There was an attendant there that we asked if we could see the sunset from the airport restaurant. He told us that the view was great from the restaurant patio and gave us a coupon for 10% off our meals.
The view of the sunset was unbelievable. It was comparable to any we have seen at sea on a cruise and maybe better.
We also stopped on the way back to Phoenix toward the end of our trip. Sharon & Dale went shopping. Dave & Ernie took a ride on the shuttle. Getting back from the ride Dave & Ernie looked around a little then called the ladies and got together with them for lunch. After lunch the ladies continued shopping and the guys went to find a room for the night.
They checked at the nearest motel the Matterhorn Inn.
Dan, the manager, said all he had was a room with one king size bed. When told we needed two beds, Dan checked reservations due to check-in that night and found a married couple for whom he had reserved a room with two full size beds. He moved them to the room with the king size bed and gave us the room with two beds. The guys called the ladies and told them where the room was. The last two pictures in the Sedona group were taken from the balcony of the room.
After supper on our first stop we continued on to Page. Ernie had made a reservation at the Red Rock Motel. When he talked to Dale, the manager, he was told that the office would be closed, but there would be a note on the door with what room we had. Thinking about the 3 glitches (wrong grave site, Linda not knowing we were coming, dead camera battery) Dale asked Ernie if he thought the note would actually be there. Ernie said of course it will be there.
When we got there, the note was on the office door, the doors to the rooms were unlocked, and the keys inside. We had two rooms with a connecting door. Sharon and Dave stayed in the back room which had a kitchenette and Dale and Ernie stayed in the front room which had a coffee maker and a microwave. The rooms were great. They were rented as one room the cost was the least we spent on motel/hotel rooms on this trip even though we had shared a single room everywhere else.
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apr 27 2017