The road to Wukoki Pueblo
Black cinders still blanket the ground for many miles surrounding Sunset Crater Volcano on the way to Wupatki National Monument.

Wukoki Pueblo
Yet only shortly after the volcano went silent around 1100AD, people settled into the area building pueblos on the rocks and cultivating corn, beans and squash below in the ash enriched soil.

View NE from Wukoki Pueblo
What a curious place to build a farming community with hot, dry summers and limited water. In this area only a few seeps and springs existed with the Little Colorado River 5-10 miles away.

Wukoki Pueblo
Yet these people shaped their lives to the land. Using the red sandstone outcroppings as a base masons mortared together natural stone blocks as bricks to shelter their families.

Metate, stones for grinding corn
It’s believed that the women built and maintained the home, made pottery, gathered wild plants and prepared food while the men tended the crops, hunted and wove textiles.

Wupatki Pueblo
An open community room may have served for public ceremonies.

Nalakihu and Citadel Pueblos
High walls on the north and west sides help protect from prevailing winds. Terraced rooms to the south and east bathed in winter sun. Flat roofs caught water.

Box Canyon Dwellings
Rooms were added as the family grew.

Lomaki Pueblo
Pueblos dotted the rocky landscape. By 1190AD, as many as 2,000 people lived within a days walk of Wupatki Pueblo, probably one of the largest pueblos in the area.

Lomaki Pueblo
Archeologists are undecided who the people of Wupatki were. Yet the Hopi tell many stories about the migration of their clans.
San Francisco Peaks from Citadel Pueblo
“…for us life is shrouded in mystery and the world defies explanation…humans do not need to know everything there is to be known. The human past, we feel, is a universal past. No one can claim it, and no one can ever know it completely.”
–Rina Swentzell, Pueblo Santa Clara
Wupatki National Monument definitely captured my heart and spirit. The energy of the ancestors surrounds. Pause and listen to the wisdom of the soul.  I floated along on the rest of today’s journey through the Painted Desert and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.