Walnut Canyon, Az National Monument

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cnycharles

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After leaving the Grand Canyon we went east to the Sunset Crater but arrived after sunset http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SUCR2262.jpg . The Sunset Crater Volcano was formed when a recent eruption around 1100 A.D. formed lava fields and cinder cones. It profoundly affected the local climate and social beliefs of nearby tribes, and many had to relocate because of the disturbance. The lava flows and cinder piles look very fresh, and the site is of some of the most recent volcanic activity in the contiguous united states. Many spots in eastern Arizona have 'fresh' cinder cones resembling Sunset Crater, which makes you feel slightly disconcerted while driving through, because they look like they could erupt at any time. I didn't get any pictures because it was too dark and we only spent a short time there.

At the nearby Walnut Canyon, people had already started living and creating homes underneath the limestone overhangs above the winding canyon. Water is very scarce in this area, so this canyon and it's stream offered shelter, food and water for a number of people. Local tribes retain usage rights through tribal law to both Sunset Crater and Walnut Canyon, and are allowed to visit, collect and use everything in the areas preserved by the park service. These two areas are fairly close nearby Flagstaff, Az. If you are visiting the area, it is a must to visit these areas

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series of images show different walled homes and storage areas beneath
the limestone overhangs. this area can be quite hot in summer, so stone-
covered structures can provide protection from the heat, but also from the
seasonal monsoon thunderstorms that visit the area. it also can be quite
chilly and snowy at times, so these natural enclosures fitted with stone walls
can provide quite a bit of security from the local climate and all types of predators

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small cacti growing near the rock walls

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living/storage areas partially retained/reconstructed. when nearby railways
were built in the late 1800's, looters started tearing and blowing down structures
to try and find artifacts. there used to be quite a few more surviving walls than
are visible today

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geodes and other crystal/mineral structures can be seen in different areas of rock
 

cnycharles

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wcmerge112.JPG

merged view of just part of the canyon visible from the visitor's center
the light was very bad for taking these pictures, but you can get a
sense of what the area looked like

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local plants growing in and around the walled areas. people living here
at one time (and still do) used everything that grew here for survival.
some trees like pinon pine are very important. very different plants
grow in this area, depending on whether or not they grow in the sunny/shady
areas or closer to the water. arizona walnut trees used to grow abundantly
near the water, but upstream dams have lowered the water supply and
numbers of walnut trees

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more mineral formations found along the visitor's trail

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JeanLux

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Another series of great pics Charles, thanks!!!! The first 2 pics of your first post do not seem to be willing to open however :eek:!!! Jean
 

Shiva

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Great pics again Charles. Thanks!
I share your concern about volcanoes. There is no possible technological fixes to them. All you can do is pack up and move out when they start acting up. The Yellowstone caldera is one monster that has the potential of killing billions of people on the planet through direct effects and ensuing famine. They do command respect. Anyway, keep your beautiful pictures coming.
 

cnycharles

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Thanks for the photos Charles. Now I know where to go when next I'm in Arizona.

:) there's more! lots more that I haven't been to yet either

Shiva said:
Great pics again Charles. Thanks!
I share your concern about volcanoes. There is no possible technological fixes to them. All you can do is pack up and move out when they start acting up. The Yellowstone caldera is one monster that has the potential of killing billions of people on the planet through direct effects and ensuing famine. They do command respect. Anyway, keep your beautiful pictures coming.

yes, I spent two winters and a few visits to jackson, wy area and seen the hot springs/boils; better to keep distance to hot ground that's unstable :(

my stepfather was telling me about their recent trip by cruise ship to/around hawaii; he said the whole time he was on the main island, he had this eerie feeling because the ship had first floated by the volcano magma flows into the ocean, and he had this idea that at any time without any warning the ground and everything might go 'poof' without any chance of getting away. vesuvius reminds us that there might not be warning/time in a time of great trouble
 
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biothanasis

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Great photos...!!! I especially love the panoramics you do!!! Thanks Charles!
 
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