Being part three of Ralph & Kate's Flagstaff adventure (parts one & two blog entries below this entry):
On the way back to Vegas from Flagstaff (our doing the opposite of San Diego Comic-Con trip and unplugging the 'puter and tv trip), we made it a point to stop at Sunset Crater and Wupatki National Monument which are also just outside of Flagstaff, to marvel at their wonders and do some hiking. Sunset Crater erupted 900 years ago and people can hike on the lava flow trail. People can't actually walk on the black lava surface, but the trail is right alongside it so it's still awesome. I don't know if my photos here really give the sense of what a dramatic landscape the Sunset Crater is, but it was one of the highlights of my getting out of the big city trip.
Since it's been about 900 years since the eruptions at Sunset Crater, vegetation and trees have grown back. But since the ground isn't ultra fertile, the tree roots don't get a chance to get dug in real far, so instead a lot of them can't withstand their weight and die or have to find ways for their roots to snake around the topsoil. The tree in this photo is sadly no longer living, but I like the way it seems to be crying out in defiance amongst these wonderful clouds.
Another wide shot of the black lava landscape of Sunset Crater juxtaposed against living things (yes, it does look like there was a fire, except not in the sad way that a fire can make things look).
After hiking Sunset Crater, we headed to the nearby Wupatki National Monument, which has the remains of the rock foundations of 800 year old pueblos where thousands of people once lived. While we were hiking around these ruins I heard some German people talking so I went up to them and had a little exchange with them with the limited recollections of the German language that I know just to touch base with people from my birth country and attempt to show foreigners that Americans are not entirely insular people.
Within this circular space was were the people who lived here hundreds of years ago held special and sacred celebrations.
So hopefully I've impressed upon people reading my three entries today on Flagstaff and its surroundings with its beauty and that you will be inspired to visit there - seriously it's always good to get out of the big city whenever you get a chance to recharge, explore the world around you, and just plain relax.
Having talked to my customers who went to the San Diego Comic-Con in our stead, I can report that almost overwhelmingly they had a great time and will go back, but for me I want to do other things with the time I get away from my store (I did especially miss my Saturday San Diego beach day though this year) and after going to 23 San Diego conventions, really it was time for me to make room for other people (I wonder how many more people would go to that convention if they didn't cap it to 125,000 people?).
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