Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sunset Crater

Cindy and went a hike today in Flagstaff. Someone told us about the Schultz Creek Trail. We didn't have time to do the whole 8 mile loop, but we went an hour and 45 minutes out and an hour and 30 minutes back. It's interesting how we get back quicker. Right at the start we saw this sign for Buddy the lost dog. It made me sad for both Buddy and his owner. I know how distraught I have been when I've lost a dog. I hope he gets back home.

There was evidence of recent snow! The temp was in the high 40's and low 50's. Plenty cold for us thin blooded desert dwellers.

There were some pretty fall berries here and there.

My usual hiking view! Cindy and I have hiked together so much and we just have a pattern where Cindy always takes the lead. I am uncomfortable in front now.

 It was a very popular trail for mountain bikers. They would come tearing along at pretty terrific speed sometimes. You would just barely hear them and they would be upon you and you had to quick get out of the way. One guy was stopped and told us we had the right of way. Cindy told him that hadn't been the case today. He apologized for bikers in general. Apology accepted.
We stopped and had lunch. When we got back to the car, I was way more sore than I thought I should be. I know I am out of shape from not hiking all summer, but still, it wasn't that hard of a hike, a gradual incline, etc. Cindy was sore too and she is in better shape than I am. We decided that maybe it had something to do with hiking at a higher altitude, that maybe our muscles were having to work harder to get the oxygen they needed. It's a good story anyway.
Afterwards, I got the bright idea that we should go check out Sunset Crater. I hadn't been there since I was a pretty little kid and I drive by it all the time.

It was actually pretty cool. When you are in the visitor's center, they have a model of all the volcanoes in the area. There are hundreds of old cones. I have had the opportunity of flying in a small plane back and forth over the area a few times and it is very evident from the air. But I hadn't realized quite how many there were.

And you have opportunity to see lava all over Arizona, but this lava flows were really pretty cool. It looked more like a "flow" than a lot of the scattered lava I've seen before. A lot of it was pretty twisty and wavy looking. Here is Cindy still looking good after our very early morning and long day.

I on the other hand am a little worse fro wear.

This is the actual Sunset Crater.When I was a kid, you could climb up it and I remember doing that. You aren't allowed to anymore. People had eroded the side of the cone too much. It erupted about 1000 years ago. There is a lot mythology in the tribes in the area who have a cultural memory of the eruption. It's interesting to see how bare it still is of trees and all after a thousand years.

There were also beautiful views toward the painted desert.

And snow on the mountain tops! It was a fun day.

1 comment:

Cathy said...

What a pretty day for a hike and to be outside! Too bad I had to work!