Thursday, October 13, 2011

Days Six and Seven

I was so tired last night I didn't even get the laptop out of my backpack! I'll try to catch up.

When I loaded up the truck in Flagstaff yesterday there was frost on the cover and the windshield!  I was chilly enough with short sleeves and a fleece jacket that I considered a sweatshirt as well as gloves-decided I'd be warm enough as soon as I was in the truck with the heater going.  After breakfast I headed south to Turzigoot National Monument, a later period than the ones I've seen before, I've started to be able to pick out the differences in construction (a history nerd here).  There is a whole line of these hilltop ruins, I think he said a mile and a tenth apart  you could see one from the top, built on hills to preserve valuable bottom land for crops and to keep above the worst of the mosquitoes.  Just a couple of photos-you'll notice that there are no doorways here, all rooms were accessed through a hole in the roof and a wooden ladder. No windows either, but they lived most of their lives outside.  All these sites were occupied for 200-300 years.

After that I traveled on to Montezuma's Castle National Monument.  Steve has often talked about this one and it is stunning.
 It's really high up the cliff and you can't get close to it.  Those who have studied it believe the inhabitants used this method of getting to it.
By this time I had long ago shed the jacket and have worked up a sweat-the air conditioning goes on in the truck!

I intended to visit one last set of ruins-Casa Grande National Monument but somewhere between Phoenix and Casa Grande I had had enough.  (Sure wish that had happened a bit sooner so I could have taken some cut offs.) I headed west on Interstate 8 through the desert-it was hot.  After a boring 3 hours-not even radio out there-I arrived in Yuma, AZ for the night.  

I crashed, and crashed hard didn't get up until 8 am this morning!  I really didn't care though as I had only a three hour drive into San Diego.  Yuma is very close to the California border and the border with Mexico so I had three checkpoints to pass.  First, going into California they stop you and ask if you have fruit, vegetables, pets etc  as they are trying to prevent hitch-hiking bugs etc from threatening their farm industry.  Then there were two Border patrol checkpoints-many illegal immigrants try that border so there is a huge border patrol presence.  Arrive in San Diego in time for lunch with Steve, Candice and Nora, tired.  I know for sure that I will not drive this again, there is just so much space between things!  I really do not like the desert so Arizona has joined Texas and Oklahoma as a "fly over" state.  (If you just love those places, sorry.)

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