Sunday, February 22, 2009

Vacation - Part 8

The first 8 pictures show here are the scenery we saw as we headed out of Sedona towards Mesa.

The next stop was Montezuma Castle National Monument.
It is not a castle and the Aztec emperor Moctezuma II was never here; the castle was abandoned at least a century before he was born. The 20 room, 5-storey structure was built into a recess in a white limestone cliff 100 ft above the floodplain. Montezuma Castle was part of a large extended community of Sinagua Indians who farmed in the area from 1100 AD to 1400 AD. When the Castle was first discovered by early explorers, the ruins were thought to be Aztec in origin, hence the name bestowed upon them.

There is a large grove of trees with white bark along the river bank below the ruins of Montezuma Castle. These trees are Arizona Sycamore.

After walking through the park around Montezuma Castle, we sat and relaxed in the shade. This is my Mom and Dad.

And a picture of my Dad and myself under the Sycamore tree.

As we neared Mesa, the Saguaro cactus started to appear. The Saguaro is everywhere, appearing like weeds on the side of the road.

When we stopped for our afternoon coffee break, I noticed this large Prickly Pear cactus.

The fruit of the Prickly Pear Cactus appears as these red "bulb" like growths on the the flat pads of the cactus. This fruit can be sued to made candies and jelly. The fruit is full of tiny seeds which can be chewed and eaten whole or spit out. The fruit can also be made into ice cream. The fruit is peeled and then mashed. The red seeds are left and not strained out. The mashed fruit and seed mixture is then added to milk to make ice cream - no sugar needs to be added. Later in our trip we had the pleasure of trying some Prickly Pear ice cream.

Our final destination on day 5 was Mesa. Mesa would be home for the next 7 nights.


  1. Thanks for reminding me of "home." (I graduated high school from a town outside of Phoenix.)

  2. You had said that the suguaro cacti were"everywhere" but wow, you were not kidding! I wonder how they propagate?