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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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?