Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunset Crater National Monument

This is our third day of being "tourists."  And you know what a tourist is, eh?

"A tourist is someone who drives 3,000 miles to have their picture taken in front of their car."  Shirley is wanting you to notice her colourful shoes!

Driving in this National Monument we were amazed to see so much lava... and there were lava pieces in the desert for miles.

We started our adventures this morning by hiking 15 minutes (300 ft. elevation climb) to the the rim of the Lenox Crater.

It was an awesome morning.  What you see on the ground is typical of what you will see in some of the huge black mounds.

The San Francisco Peak... as seen from the viewpoint at Sunset Crater.

Around the rim of the crater is a mountain of lava fines... smaller than pea gravel.  To help put things in perspective those are trees on the ridge to the top right.

This huge black mound is the edge of Sunset Crater.

Not all the mounds were black... and it was wonderful to see a little more blue sky again.

The signs in the National Monument helped us identify the important details.

There are several cinder covered vents... but the largest cone in front is not very red.

At the time I shot this picture I did not realize what I was looking at.  This is the a part of the Great Staircase... a National Monument in Utah.  Even though the atmosphere is not perfectly clear, we are looking into the series of ascending steps the further we look into the distance... the Great Staircase.

This photo was taken from a Highway 89-A viewpoint... it is one of my prized possessions! What a difference being another 70 or 80 miles closer makes... and a day later.  A young man at the Navajo Bridge Visitor Centre told me to look for this spot in the road between mile marker between 190 and 191.

The Great Staircase National Monument is a site we want to visit on another trip.  More than 280,000 acres are in this huge National Monument in Utah.  Little by little we are learning about the wonders of this part of the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment