Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Day 48- Dec. 22 *let it snow*


Welcome to Flagstaff, AZ!!! We awoke to the flakes coming down and covering the ground with Christmas cheer!! I started to exit the freeway and my dad said, "Wait. What are you doing? We don't want to stop here. There's nothing!"

"YES! Exactly!! I have to get out and catch some snowflakes! This is a must and if I were in the right clothing, I'd go jump in it!!!
But do notice, I wore my snow sweater for such an event!!! :)

Since I have had perfect weather the entire trip, he said, "I think your luck has run out!"
Might be true for a second, but my luck was in full bloom when we had to stop at a gas station to use the restroom...

The women's room was open and clear and the men's room was closed for cleaning! HEHEHE

I joked with my dad as I strolled down the hall passing the line of men waiting! Some of the littlest things are so satisfying :)

Rather than stay in Flagstaff during the snow storm, we decided to head for Phoenix and in
true form had to make a few stops on our way...

We found this old Indian Village carved into the side of a cliff.

Hey, look, they have stone toilet seats. Maybe that's what they were installing in the men's room. Would make them feel rustic and manly!!
These Arizona Sycamore trees were amazing. The bark was a patchwork of color but it was smooth to the touch.

Oh, my gosh, what the heck is that? Are those people nuts? This was about 100 feet up...

Can you imagine climbing up there with your groceries every day?

It is called Montezuma's Castle.

As we entered, we joked that if we enter, will we get Montezuma's revenge? They did have three separate bathrooms for a place that was only one building big.

But it gets its name from a mistaken belief that the cliff-dwelling was a castle the Aztec refugees had build for their emperor. It is now known that Montezuma never came this far north from his home in Mexico, but the name stuck. This was the highest and most elaborate of the cliff dwellings, but there were other Indian communities in this same cliff down about another 100 feet. Here is a replica of the inside, so you can see how it is laid out.
It amazes me how they made their homes inside these rock walls. Montezuma's castle was said to house 35 Sinagua people.

But the neighbor cliff dwelling housed 100 Sinagua people and yet it just looks like a solid rock wall. How in the world did they live inside there?

You can see little doorways and windows that are signs of the living quarters...
If you look closely, you can see the black residue on the ceiling of this room from the fires they built to keep warm. The black in the bottom of the picture is from the smoke coming out of the room below.

While the sun was out at the cliff homes, the weather changed rather quickly...

Those windshield wipers are on high!!! Now, that's a gully washer, as my grandma would say!

Let's see, all in one day, we have seen the winter and rainy season, how about some sun to go with my pastel white skin!
Welcome to the desert southwest.
It was time for another restroom break, so let's see if I can find a tree to hide behind... Oooo... eeeks... That one is a bit pokey and not quite tall enough to be hidden...

Oh, I bet there are rattle snakes in there. Maybe over here...
Jeez... Guess I'll hold it!!!
The sights have turned from mountains, to cactus, to 2:00 traffic! Toto, ain't no buffalos roaming around here...

As I write this, I am comfortably settled at my dad's in Phoenix and am dancing in my chair while typing to the rhythm of Jingle Bells!!

He has provided me with incredible Arizona hospitality and stepped into his practical ways by making me a desk to work at...

The piece of wood sticks out further than the arms of the chair so to keep it from flipping forward, he put screws in the back and wrapped a zip tie around the screw and the arms of the chair. Works like a charm.

And you all wondered where I got my practical characteristics!!

Merry Christmas!!!! :)

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