Wupatki, and the Winter Curse Broken
Hello again, dear readers! Winter is finally loosing its grasp on northern Arizona, and so I had the pleasure of getting out to Wupatki National Monument yesterday for a late evening photoshoot. It’s the first time I’ve been out since Phoenix, summed up in my last post, and I can assure you I am very happy for the occasion. The above and following photographs are linked to their gallery page, which is now the biggest single gallery on the site. In short; it was a good evening.
I began by making my way through Sunset Crater National Monument, always a pleasant drive, especially then with the mountains all dusted in recent snow. I almost turned back at that point out of fear for the potential of dangerous conditions, but as the road descended into the high desert the snow almost completely disappeared. The sun was in the process of setting behind snow clouds, and so the whole time I was out the opportunities for interesting sky shots kept shifting towards the beautiful.
My first stop was the Wukoki Pueblo, in my opinion the most beautiful in the monument only because it cuts such an imposing figure on the plains, three storeys tall and very well preserved. The sunset shone off the western walls to match and enhance the red of the stones, and to contrast with the clearing blue sky above. There are endless details to focus on around and in the pueblo, from the way stones are placed to the sharp angles of the walls, and even the little things growing around the tower. You’ll notice my other Wupatki galleries are both focused on Wukoki, it really is worth the trek.
By then the light was rapidly fading, and so I skipped over the major ruins of Wupatki (closed at 5:00 anyway) and the Citadel, going instead for Lomaki and the Box Canyon pueblos which I had not seen before. These three clustered structures perch on the edge of a box canyon, formed from shifting earth after volcanic activity all around. This trail is a little longer and allows more of the natural scenery to be taken in, namely the canyon itself and Antelope Prairie which surrounds these sites. The first two pueblos sat facing each other on opposite sides of the shallow canyon, and each was a relatively simple collection of a few square rooms. These and Lomaki have not been restored at all, as Wupatki and Wukoki have been, only reinforced to prevent collapse. Lomaki, or the Beautiful House, is larger in scale and boasts a feature I haven’t seen anywhere else within the Monument; an iconic T-shaped doorway, fully shaped and at ground level. The trail allowed this door and the adjacent rooms to be walked through, which was a good interactive touch among otherwise off-limits areas. By the time I had sated my appetite for exploration the sun had set fully, and so I headed out, perhaps soon to return.
As for other happenings, you may notice the layout of some of the site’s pages has changed recently. I tried to make the list of dates for the Phoenix Mountain Preserve more manageable (by using yet more sub-menus), and I have also removed the dusty and forlorn Booklist and Playlist sections. These may return in some form in the future, but for now it won’t do any good to keep them up if I can’t update them regularly. Also, make sure to check out the D’ni Proverb of the Week, this week’s is my favorite out of all thirty-something I put together.
If you’re still curious about the secretive and hinted-at Mysterious Project, you’ll be pleased to know that it is extremely close to being revealed, hopefully in the next week or so. I don’t want to spoil it after such a long teaser campaign, but I will say that it looks excellent so far. Keep a close eye out for that next week, and perhaps for more photos soon.