Only traveled about 50 miles yesterday to stay at the Homolovi Ruins State Park near Winslow Arizona. The site was conveniently located near Meteor Crater (on Linda’s “must see” list) and it was nice to have an easy travel day. The State Park is beautiful and well kept…a bit more pricey at twenty-five dollars a night; but we had just camped free for three nights in a row – so we said “what the heck”.
The morning was spent exploring the Homolovi II Ruins area and we met our official greeter on the pathway to the ruins. haven’t had the time to run down an ID on this little guy – but he certainly was a colorful character. he kept coming closer and closer to Linda until she laughed and scared him away.
We proceeded to check out the exposed Kiva – a ceremonial area reserved for the men. This ruins area was populated by the Anasazi and it is postulated that they migrated here from other areas due to a long period of drought. The nearby Little Colorado River afforded a reliable water supply. Eventually they migrated again – this time to the mesas to the north. Some think it was due to too many mosquitoes here. The mesas are still populated with Hopi tribes to this day.
One of the cool things here is an abundance of pot sherds. These people specialized in growing cotton and weaving. (The Kiva, in fact, had evidence of looms and cotton fibers and it is supposed that the men did the weaving.) They traded with peoples farther to the north, who were master potters. The yellow sherds were fired at a higher temperature and are more “glass-like”. They clink if you tap the pieces together.
Later in the day we headed for Meteor Crater – a bit west of here. It’s official name is Barringer Crater – named after the person who did much of the early study on the crater. The object that made the crater struck the earth 50,000 years ago (not that long, in geologic time). It was likely about 150 yards wide and excavated about 175 million tons of rock. The crater is 4150 feet in diameter, 550 feet deep and 2.4 miles in circumference. The object that made it was composed of nickel iron. The crater used to be about 700 feeet deep, but 50,000 years of erosion has taken its toll.