Out West Vacation 2010: Walnut Canyon

Vacation, Day 3 took us to Walnut Canyon.

My first thought was Finally! I will get to see a site from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books! But, no such luck. We weren’t going to Walnut Creek, my friends, we were going to Walnut Canyon.

Big difference.

Walnut CanyonBecause I don’t think Pa would have tried farming that landscape, now, do you?

Okay, so a little history:  Walnut Canyon National Monument, near Flagstaff, Arizona, was founded by President Woodrow Wilson in 1915. But way prior to that, Indians had discovered the spot and lived there in dwellings they made in the cliffs. Civilizations flourished there from 600-1500 A.D.

I have become very impressed with Indians while on this trip. They were so resourceful, not to mention incredibly agile! They planted crops on top of the cliffs and then would head down to dwellings in the cliff faces. Kind of makes you feel bad for complaining about walking across the parking lot, huh?

You can still see many of the dwellings, although, apparently in the late 1800s it was in vogue to explore ancient places like this and strip them of any “souvenirs” you could carry away. Sadly, these folks messed up a lot of the evidence of the Indians’ lives. And this vandalism was a large part of the reason the area became a national monument.

Walnut CanyonBehind my daughter you can see the “island,” and we walked the “island trail,” a 1-mile trail which took us down to this island, around which were several of the dwellings.

Walnut Canyon

Walnut CanyonIt was pretty neat to see those places and imagine people actually living there.

And then, it was time to again ascend 185 feet to the visitors’ center. Now, sometime during the time we spent on the island, it had become hot. Very hot. I began counting the promised 235 steps up the (hot, sunny) pathway to the top. I wanted to stop, but I just kept going, anticipating the cool air that would greet me.

And, I found out that they lied, because I counted 235 steps, and there were still about 60 more! No fair!

Then, to add insult to injury, I walked into the visitors’ center only to be greeted with – room-temp air. If they had on the AC at all, it must have been set at about 78. Not too refreshing!

So, I had to begin my day by being all hot ‘n sweaty – not something I enjoy.

Looking back, though, other than the sweat, the visit was a positive memory. It wasn’t very crowded there, and it was peaceful and interesting.

3 thoughts on “Out West Vacation 2010: Walnut Canyon

  1. If you think having the a/c set at 78 is uncomfortable, don’t come to visit me this summer. That’s where I move it down to if I want to get it cool in the house!

  2. I never heard of this spot. Watch knocking 78 degrees. That is exactly where my home temperature remains. It is what Duke Energy recommends!

    Hey, I grew up in a farmhome and never saw a window fan in my 18 years there.

  3. Hey hey hey, when the air is SET to 78 and you have the doors open, it’s a lot hotter, let me tell you!!

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