I had one main destination today when I left the hotel but quite a few places popped up while traveling around and I ended up making several stops. The primary one being the Wupatki National Monument. For its time and place, there was no other pueblo like Wupatki. Less than 800 years ago, it was the tallest, largest, and perhaps the richest and most influential pueblo around. The monument was established in 1924 by President Calvin Coolidge. It has expanded its boundaries over time to include other pueblos and now (as of 2018) encompasses 35,422 acres. I was feeling every inch of my arthritis pain when I left the hotel today so I wasn’t really planning on walking down to the pueblo but once I got moving I couldn’t stop.
On a side road before the Wupatki pueblo was the Wukoki pueblo and on another side road was the Citadel pueblo…
Another stop was to visit the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. It was interesting to walk around and think about the fact that at one time a volcano erupted here. I am going to post a picture of the area from the sky…no way I could get this shot unless I had a drone or was in a helicopter and my images though they do show the lava flowed they don’t give a clue to the fact it is a volcano. I can only attribute this photo to the Arizona Bureau of Tourism. The crater is within the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. Sunset Crater is the youngest in a string of volcanoes that is related to the nearby San Francisco Peaks.
When I was driving to my next stop I saw a sign for The Painted Desert vista…It seemed like it should be further away and difficult to see but when I saw the turn-off I had to check it out. TADA…vista!
There was one more stop I wanted to make today before heading back to the hotel for dinner but I was slowed down at one point by what seemed to be a large fire off in the distance…turned out it was an electricity producing plant…doesn’t all this affect the lungs or health of people in its path?
Then…back on the road to my final destination for the day…I wanted to check out Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church. Visually it is an amazing piece of architecture and a historic icon in Flagstaff but it is in need of restoration and hopefully they will be able to raise the money and repair it before continued damage occurs.
It was a fun day traveling around the area. Going back to the hotel for dinner in their Japanese restaurant, Sukura. I did not even consider it the night before because the young man I spoke with said it was a sushi restaurant and I am not a fan of sushi but when I got back to the hotel the smells coming from that area drew me in…I walked over and checked out the menu and made a reservation. Yes, sushi is a big part of what they offer but they also have a Teppanyaki menu and the chefs come table-side and cook your meal! My brief conversation at dinner was with the couple on the other side of the cooktop…they were on their honeymoon! I tried to include the video I took of the chef doing his magic but it won’t load…
Tomorrow I will be leaving Flagstaff and heading to Prescott with quite a few stops before reaching my hotel. I will be there for 2 nights. I will be driving through Sedona with some stops…my destination for my trip was Sedona and tomorrow I will be there. It occurred to me that I had done some of the Route 66 travels…did I want to continue to the end in Santa Monica? I figured it might add a week or more to my trip depending on how long I stayed for overnight stops. I have been to several areas of California before but none of my travels included Santa Monica. I have a few days to figure it out…continue to head west or time to turn back east? No set reason to get home by a particular date so we’ll see.
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See you on the road!