09 May 2006 Tuesday

We went back to Montezuma’s Castle National Monument  this morning, along with three bus loads of foreign tourists.  This is the best preserved cliff dwelling, 5 stories high.  However, it’s not a castle and Montezuma never lived here.  It was abandoned around the 1400’s and “discovered” in the 1800’s.  Many of the artifacts in the structure were stolen long before it became a National Monument and was protected in 1902.  Since it was already named by then, the facts of not-a-castle and Montezuma-never-lived-here really didn’t seem to matter to anyone.  This pueblo ruin is pretty cool because it was 5 stories high.  Most cliff dwellings are only two or three stories high.  

We went into Sedona, AZ, once considered to be the center of the New Age movement.  What we found was a tourist trap filled with strip malls, tour guides and time share condo sales.  We went to the Visitor Info center of Oak Creek Village and got information about what’s here and what to see .  We found a brew-pub for lunch, Oak Creek Brewery, and walked around some of the art shops.  Very expensive art shops.  Many tiny things started over $100.00 and larger pieces easily went over six figures. 

We did some hiking on some beautiful red rocks.  We hiked up to Cathedral Rock”, but near the top the hike became a rock climb and the climbing got to me.  Andrew continued.  Even Andrew’s knee was bothering him after hiking down, so my knees are happy I stopped when I did.  We went to a National Forest on the edge of the city to camp.  We have a couple of points of interest in Sedona tomorrow morning and we move on.  

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