Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Mesa Verde - Colorado November 21st 2012

Mesa Verde National Park a U.S. National Park and World Heritage Site is located in Montezuma County, Colorado. The park created in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt, was established to protect some of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in the world.
It occupies 81.4 square miles (211 square kilometers) close to the Four Corners and features numerous ruins of homes and villages built by the Ancestral Puebloan people called the Anasazi.
There are over 4,000 archaeological sites and over 600 cliff dwellings of the Pueblo people at the site.
The Anasazi inhabited Mesa Verde between 600 to 1300. They were mainly subsistence farmers, growing crops on nearby mesas. Their primary crop was corn, the major part of their diet. Men were also hunters, which further increased their food supply. The women of the Anasazi were famous for their basket weaving. Anasazi pottery is as famous as their baskets; their artifacts are highly prized. The Anasazi kept no written records.
By 750, the people were building mesa-top villages made of adobe. In the late 1190s, they began to build the cliff dwellings for which Mesa Verde is famous.

Mesa Top Village

Cliff Palace

Square Tower House

Long House

Mule Deer

Oak Tree House

Entry to the Park

Monday, 19 November 2012

Monument Valley - Utah November 19th 2012

The Four Corners is a region of the United States consisting of the southwestern corner of Colorado, northwestern corner of New Mexico, northeastern corner of Arizona and southeastern corner of Utah.  It is the only location in the United States where four states meet. The majority of the Four Corners region is part of semi-autonomous Native Americans, the largest of which is the Navajo Nation, followed by Hopi, Ute and Zuni tribal reserves and nations.

The Mexican Hat
 Monument Valley (Navajo: Tsé Biiʼ Ndzisgaiivalley of the rocks) is a region of the Colorado Plateau characterised by a cluster of large sandstone buttes, the largest reaching around 1,000 ft (300 m) above the valley floor. It is located on the Arizona-Utah state line, near the Four Corners area. The valley lies within the range of the Navajo Nation Reservation.

The View Hotel in monument valley is where the ancient and the contemporary can be viewed every morning. As  we looked from our room the iconic formations of the world famous Mittens stand there in full view. We had the unobstructed, unspoiled views of the sandstone monuments sculptered by the wind and rain over the centuries. We felt so close, that we could almost reach out and touch the massive monuments in the Navajo landscape.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Grand Canyon - Arizona November 18th 2012

The Grand Canyon has been carved out to the living rock by the Colorado River, and is considered one of the "7 Natural Wonders of the World".

 The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide at its widest point. It attains a depth of over 1 mile (6,000 feet / 1,800 metres). Nearly two billion years of geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River has cut a channel through layers of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted.

We stayed in a Hotel complex in the Canyon National Park on the south side of the canyon. The accommodation was basic but served its purpose. The best place to eat in the park is the El Tovar Hotel, which has a small bar that faces the canyon and is perfect for watching the sunset.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Montezuma Castle - Arizona - 17th November 2012

Montezuma Castle National Monument is a must see destination for  tourists travelling from Phoenix towards Flagstaff in Arizona. In 1933, a 45-50 room, pueblo ruin was excavated, uncovering a wealth of artifacts and telling the story of the Sinagua people who inhabited this oasis along Beaver Creek for over 400 years.

Early visitors to the monument were allowed access to the structure by climbing a series of ladders up the side of the limestone cliffs. However, due to extensive damage to this valuable cultural landmark, public access of the ruins was discontinued in 1951.

Now, approximately 350,000 people a year gaze through the the windows of the past during a visit to Montezuma Castle. Even 600 years after their departure, the legacy of the Sinagua people continues to inspire the imaginations of this and future generations.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Cardboard Boat Race - 3rd September 2012

Invitational Cardboard Boat Race benefiting the central Illinois chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.
The cardboard boat race is an annual event at the IVY Club, with all benefits going to "The Alzheimer's Association" during 2012.

The event raised $2,245 for the local Alzheimer's chapter.
The Titanic, from National Marine, capsized immediately.

Four other cardboard contestants paddled off for a race that had an exciting finish.

Togas to Go, an entry from the IVY Club with Carrie Grimwade as Captain, held off the Polar Plunger, a cardboard catamaran from the East Peoria Boat Club. Finishing third was Margaritaville, another IVY Club entry, featuring Ken and Wendi Ramsay.

Pre-Race Photo Call

The Winning Team
The Titanic picked up another prize: the Titanic award presented annually to the first boat that sinks.

The Woodstock, a VW bus entry from the Peoria Boat Club, finished second in the best-of-show category. The hippie entry finished fourth in the race but overturned shortly before the finish line, displaying the word, "help," on the underside of the boat.

The close Finish