Tuesday, December 18, 2007

12/17/07 Casa Grande Ruins w/Friends

Today we met up with our Delaware full timing friends, Bobby and Shelly. They came over to our park from where they are staying eight miles away. After visiting at the house and taking them on a tour of our park we decided lunch was in order.

We loaded into the truck with no particular destination in mind and decided on Mimi's Cafe, a new restaurant that opened just a few weeks ago.

We all had a lunch that we enjoyed and then headed to the Casa Grande Ruins about 20 miles away.

The first thing we noticed was these tall saguaro cactus. (the "G" is silent in saguaro)

We made our way into the visitor's center and the lady behind the counter demonstrated some of the flutes for us.
This national monument consists of the ruins of multiple structures surrounded by a compound wall built by the Hohokam, who farmed the area in the early 1200s. "Casa grande" is Spanish for "big house" and the name refers to the largest structure on the site, which is what remains of a four story structure that may have been abandoned by the mid-1400s. The structure has managed to survive the extreme weather conditions for about seven centuries. In order to protect the remains this covering was built in 1932 and the walls have structural supports in place as a precaution agains further deterioration.
A closer look at the "Great House". It's hard to believe this is still standing some 700 hundred years later!

A picture of the interior walls, you can see the supports that have added to further preserve the structure.
This round hole was put in the wall for a purpose. When the sun and moon lined up with this hole the Hohokam's knew when it was time for planting and harvesting and even celebrations. The four corners of the building face the four points on a compass. I guess they didn't have a Farmer's Almanac back then.
Another interior shot.
The remains of the foundations of the outlying, smaller buildings.
After we had seen all there was we made our way back to our house. On the way we caught this sunset.
The four of us will get together again on Wednesday, wait till you see where we go!

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