From the main ancient pueblo at Wupatki National Monument, you have a sweeping view East, all the way to the Painted Desert. From the Lomaki pueblo, you see the San Fransicso Peaks looming majestically on the horizon. But from any vantage in the 35,000-acre park, you're afforded more than a glimpse into the ancient past of the Colorado Plateau, right down to a fateful geologic event that changed the landscape and the lives of its people forever.
Travels With Ernie
Adventures Off-the-Beaten-Path Across Sedona and Northern Arizona.
Follow Ernie to places that you didn't know existed, but would like to know more about.
Take it easy in Winslow, Arizona, at the Standing On The Corner Park. Made up of a mural, bronze statue, and concrete corner alongside Route 66, the park is one of those quirky, quaint, and sometimes just outrageous, roadside attractions to be found throughout northern Arizona.
Standing in the cool, dark confines of a room that was built 1,000 years ago kicks the imagination into high gear.
Your common humanity with the people who slept, ate, argued and dreamed in this room surges to the surface of your consciousness, and time seems to simultaneously contract and expand.
On an arid and sometimes harsh landscape, water in all its forms is a sacred element. It is something to be worshiped, solicited, celebrated; an element of birth and rebirth, sustaining all life in a landscape dependent upon rains that seem to fall from one year to the next on the whims of gods, where prayers and ceremonies around water are a way of life and oral traditions about its sacred purpose are carried forward generation to generation.
Without water, existence is no longer a possibility.
Quite possibly one of the most photographed spots on earth, Monument Valley is a striking testament to the impermanent nature of even the planet's most massive forms.
The isolated mesas and buttes that dramatically jut from the red desert floor are the last little stubs, relatively speaking, of the layers upon layer of rock that used to fill in all the space in between. It took hundreds of millions of years to lay down all those layers, and then 50 million or so to wear all but the remaining formations away to relatively nothing.
One of the best preserved cliff dwellings in North America is Montezuma Castle, a five-story, 20-room cliff dwelling for prehistoric Sinagua Indians over 600 years ago. Early settlers to the area assumed it was associated with the Aztec emperor Montezuma, but the castle was abandoned almost a century before Montezuma was born.
Without delivering a judgment on the decades-old controversy over the building of Glen Canyon Dam and the creation of Lake Powell, one can still assert this much: the beauty of Lake Powell is not a warm and fuzzy, lush meadows, twittering birds and puffy clouds kind of beauty.
The Grand Canyon may well be the most accessible of the world's wonders. It is bordered by a wide paved path with excellent interpretive materials and amazing viewpoints along the way.
A Visit to Out Of Africa Wildlife Park, One of the Verde Valley’s Premier Attractions
Recently, Ernie was given the opportunity to tour one of the Verde Valley’s premier attractions near Sedona: Out Of Africa Wildlife Park. Although pets are not allowed due to the fact they can upset and create stress for the wild animals, Ernie was given special permission to do a closely supervised tour because of his media credentials.
As the saying goes, "what goes around comes around" and that is exactly what happened to the historic little post office building for the rural community of Cornville. Cornville lies a few miles south of Sedona and back in the day shared postal routes that included Red Rock Loop, Sedona, and Oak Creek Canyon. This little building is what remains of the historic Cornville Post Office, recently returned to its original location on the northeast corner of the Cornville and Loy Roads, on property now owned by the Windmill Gardens nursery.