Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Montezuma Castle National Monument

Montezuma Castle

On my trip to Arizona, my friend Raven and I went on a road trip. After stopping in Phoenix for lunch, we went to Montezuma Castle National Monument. You might think that the monument is a castle built by Montezuma (he was a king of the Aztecs of Mexico), but it's neither! Montezuma Castle is a cliff dwelling that was built by the Sinagua people around 800 years ago.

Montezuma Castle

Here I am with the structure behind me. Archaeologists think about 35 people lived there. It was a difficult climb up to the dwelling- I think I would be too lazy to live there! Actually, I would have loved to live there. It would have been amazing to live high in the cliff, looking down over the valley and Beaver Creek.

Montezuma's Castle National Monument

This is a better view of the cliff dwelling. Isn't it amazing? The Sinagua had to carry their building materials up the cliff in order to make the structure.

Montezuma Castle

Raven and I decided to team up to do the Junior Ranger program, called Beaver Creek Bingo. Kids get a bingo page full of things you can find at Montezuma Castle. Once you find an item, you have to use the signs on the trail or in the museum to answer the questions. Raven and I had fun doing it- the hardest part was identifying wildlife. It was so, so hot - we thought the wildlife must have been hiding out of the sun. We didn't see any cliff swallows, but we did see their nests up in the cliffs. Cool!

Montezuma Castle

As always, I loved exploring the park. It was so cool to imagine that I were a Sinagua girl living there. How would I have been different? How would I have been the same?

Montezuma Castle

At the end of the day, we returned to the Visitor Center so that the rangers could check out our Beaver Creek Bingo pages. We did pretty well, even though we didn't see any wildlife. I told Raven that my goal for our trip would be to see some wildlife. She agreed. When the ranger swore us in, I felt proud. Montezuma Castle is a beautiful place- even if Montezuma never went there and it isn't a castle! I'm so glad I got to experience the park with Raven. Have you ever gone somewhere special with a friend?

17 comments:

  1. Inky! I didn't know you were/are in the southwest. We've been traveling and are out of touch. I love that you are a junior ranger times a bunch!

    hugs,
    Kiki

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    1. Hi Kiki!

      Are you in the Southwest? E-mail me at inkymarina@gmail.com. Maybe we can meet up!

      Inky

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  2. Bonsoir, Inky!
    Lilly was hovering over me, and she said, "Montezuma? Like Montezuma's Revenge?" Silly Lilly...but that's sadly how she thinks.
    Lilly and her goofiness aside, wow! That cliff dwelling is super spectacular! It's absolutely amazing to think that somebody once lived there. I think this is my favorite park that you've visited.
    I haven't really gone on many special trips since I've been in the States. Lilly and I go to the movies a lot because there's always some new comedy that she wants to see. Back in France, though, I went on many special trips with one of my best friends. She's an only child, so I was oftentimes invited to join her for her vacations. ;)
    Bisous,
    Sabine

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    1. Salut Sabine,

      Montezuma's Revenge... you mean the yucky poops? Heehee!! Lilly is silly!

      You should really see if you can go on a tour of the United States. When I first came to the US, I wasn't sure about it. Going to all the different National Parks has really shown me that there is a lot to love about my adopted country.

      Where did you go on vacation with your friend? I have only been to France at the CDG airport, but I would love to see more. My grandfather is from Saint Valérie en Caux and I would love to go there someday.

      xoxo,
      Inky

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  3. It looks like you and Raven had a great time!! I do hope you get to come out and visit again. It would be great to see you. One of my best friends is moving back, Rebecca. She could meet he, too. Your friend, Summer

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    1. Wow, Rebecca is moving back!! I hope I get the chance to meet her. I'm excited to see you again soon!

      Inks

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  4. Oh wow! How fun and what a beautiful place! I love that the ranger swore you in and you SHOULD be proud! That's a great achievement! Congratulations, and thanks for sharing your awesome adventures with us!

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    1. Thank you Miranda! I am proud! Every Junior Ranger badge I earn is just as awesome as the first one was. :)

      Love,

      Inky

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  5. Amazing pictures! Looks like a lot of fun! :-)

    That must have been an amazing place to live.

    Love,
    Summer

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    1. Thank you Summer, that's so kind of you to say!

      Love,

      Inky

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  6. Inky,

    Wow! Montezuma Castle looks amazing...even if it's not truly a castle! I think it'd be tiring to have to climb up to my home every night, though it certainly would have an amazing view.

    I've been fortunate to visit a lot of places with friends; I don't know if I could ever choose my favorite place. I know I really enjoyed visiting Prince Edward Island, Canada and meeting Nathalie. Going on an Alaskan cruise with Marsali and Taryn was definitely a highlight of my life. I also really enjoyed spending time with you, like when you took me to Jamaica Bay. Of course, I could go on...

    Sophie

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    1. Sophie,

      I think I would get tired of climbing up there every night too!

      You have done so much traveling, you're really lucky. My family travels a lot, but I don't really get to stay with my friends very often, except Piper and Violet.

      Love,

      Inkerdoodle Poodle

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  7. Wow! That place is so pretty! A few years ago when I still lived in the children's home we went on a field trip to a park with sand dunes! And this is in the province of Manitoba, Canada, also known for Churchill and the polar bears! It was a very nice park. I had fun pretending we were in the Sahara, but that didn't last long. I think the Sahara has less trees and no campgrounds.
    Love,
    Callie

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    1. Callie,

      That is so cool! I have gone to Great Sand Dunes in Colorado, which are these enormous sand dunes in the middle of nowhere. I wonder if they're similar to the ones in Manitoba? I have a friend who lives in Winnipeg, but I don't think they have polar bears there. :)

      Love,
      Inky

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    2. Inky,
      I have never been to the sand dunes in Colorado so I don't know what they were like but I think they might be similar. There are no polar bears in Winnipeg,sadly. They're so cute :)

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  8. How fun that you were able to visit the American Southwest! I love your photos. That Junior Ranger program sounds like a lot of fun. I have also visited Montezuma's Castle, but it was many years ago.
    love,
    Tante Marianne (Linnea's Aunt)

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    1. Tante Marianne,

      I am so excited that you commented! I am a huge fan of your cat, Jack! Thank you so much!

      Love,
      Inky

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