A February 2003 trip
to Flagstaff by Taylor252
Quote: Once we did some research on the Flagstaff area, we were astounded at the number of things to do. Ride the rails to the Grand Canyon, visit cliff dwellings, the Meteor Crater, and so much more!
???Reserve your train ride to the Grand Canyon before you leave home.
???Be sure and stop at roadside jewelry sales. The prices are much better . . . and bargaining is possible!
???If you go to the Petrified Forest, stop before you get in the park to buy a sample. It is significantly cheaper and there is more petrified wood on private property outside the park than in. (You may also find pottery shards available.)
We also took the railroad to Grand Canyon. There were no hassles and tours were provided. Plus a hold up was staged halfway back, which the kids and adults both liked.
Hotel | "Fairfield Flagstaff"
We didn''t use the resort amenities very much because there is so much else to do. But, we did go over and look at them. There is a nice mini golf area; an outdoor pool which was of course closed for winter, a large hot tub, game room with pool and ping pong, video rental and a snack bar. On a bulletin board was a list of activities available including some pool and ping pong contests. It looked like everyone was on the ball. We recommend this place highly for winter traveling.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 8, 2003
Fairfield Inn by Marriott Flagstaff
2005 SOUTH MILTON ROAD
Flagstaff, Arizona 86001
There are two classes of tickets, coach ($39 adult; $24.95 child under 12; $35.95 senior over 65) and first class ($59.95 all riders). Coach has Pullman-style seating with two seats on either side of a center aisle. There is a snack bar. In first class, you will find living room-type seating and complimentary appetizers and beverage service. Both groups have access to an open air viewing car and piped throughout the train are featured historic narrations and live music.
We decided that we liked living room-style seating and the price for first class wasn''t too bad. So away we went! Along the way we saw a bald eagle nest, Old Slag Mountain, many water birds, some early Indian caves and a ghost town. The Verde River which formed this canyon snakes alongside the tracks and provides water and soothing scenery to an otherwise dry land. All the train engines and cars are restored vintage machines and the ride takes about four hours. It is a leisurely pace with plenty of time to talk with fellow travelers or contemplate while watching the west slip by.
There are overnight accommodations if you desire and the train does special educational programs and also charters for 20 people or more. Apparently they do a lot of weddings! The trains are all air-conditioned, have restroom facilities on each car, and are non-smoking except on the open air car.
For more information you can call 1-800-293-7245 or go to their website. We highly recommend this trip for its beauty and relaxing nature. NOTE: The train does not run on Monday or Tuesday.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 12, 2003
Verde Valley Wilderness Train
300 North Broadway
Flagstaff, Arizona 86322
Attraction | "Tuzigoot Pueblo-Pt.1-Location & Structure"
Tuzigoot is the ruins of a Sinaguan village built in an ongoing way between 1125 and 1400. The ruin is fairly large, perhaps 250-300 feet long. The ruins follow the contour of the hilltop so they have a gentle slope to them (see picture). It was built on a ridge that overlooks the river about 120 feet up from the floor of the valley. Originally it was two stories high and had 77 ground floor rooms and another 13 on the second floor. All were entered by ladders through roof openings. The total population at its peak was probably about 200 individuals.
The buildings are constructed with light colored limestones and sandstones. There is 3-4 inches of mortar between the stones and then smaller stones would be jammed in any spaces for stability. Large wooden beams held up the roof and then rafters of pinyon, juniper, cottonwood, and sycamore were laid down. Smaller poles were laid at right angles and then boughs of grass, reeds bark were added. Mud pack finished the watertight roof.
Tuzigoot is one of a chain of large villages that is evently spaced 1.7 miles apart along the Verde River and it''s tributaries. The spacing may have had something to do with access to water, a major resource. It appears from the archeological record that this was an important crossroads for trade that went on between the Ananazi tribe to the west and the Hohokum tribe to the north. Seashells from the Gulf of Mexico were also found at this site suggesting that trade went even farther than first imagined--perhaps even trading with the Mezo-American Indian groups in the Yucatan like the Maya.
I''ll talk about family life and the Museum at the site in part II.
52 miles south of Flagstaff
You cannot go up to the cliff dwelling. I frankly have trouble understanding how the inhabitants got up there. But I’m told they were nimble and entered from the top of the cliffs to one side of the building and then used paths going along on a horizontal plane. So be it! This was a good place to live as there was a reliable creek nearby and fertile land.
There is a nice building/museum/souvenir shop on-site. You can purchase an audio tour if you like. If you want more information call 520/567-3322 or go to this website. I recommend this as a simply amazing site!
Off I-17, Exit 289
Camp Verde, Arizona 86322
Attraction | "Tuzigoot Pueblo-Pt.2-Daily life & contact info"
There is a nice museum at Tuzigoot staffed by the Parks Service (the site is a National Monument) and it is full of pottery and others artifacts discovered at the site. In the back there is a life size reproduction of what they think the inside of one of the homes might have looked like. There are several walking trails. One looks at some of the farming methods used. Another trail takes you through a swamp land and highlights the flora and fauna of the area.
It always amazes me how well archeologists and anthropologists can discern the past from the small clues they find. At Tuzigoot, they gleaned enough information to place plaques throughout the village describing family life, farming and some of the rituals that were a part of the Sinagua story. For example, corn was the center of village life. It was sacred. At the beginning of the growing season a Tuzigoot farmer would check his land and clear away any debris that had built up over the winter or in the spring floods. Then the mositure content of the soil would be checked. If everything was okay, a sharp stick was used to poke holes in the ground and the best seeds saved from last years harvest would be used. They planted corn, beans, squash and cotton. Throughout, the summer rituals would be performed. The family, along with other farmer families, would sing songs and take turns standing guard over the crops to chase away rabbits and the like who could destroy their crop.
Many of the pueblos along the Verde R. practiced something called Dry Farming. This system used no irrigation as some of the groups in the north had been doing 100 ‘s of years earlier. After the harvest, the produce was stored in big pots and tightly stoppered to keep rodents out. Corn was then ground into meal with handstones which are on display at the site. Weaving was also done at this time. The Cotton was picked, cleaned, carded and spun into beautiful designs. They didn''t use the kind of spinning wheel we''re used to seeing. One way of spinning used a device shaped like a child''s top. This was dangled down and spun around allowing the "thread" to be created. Their woven fabrics may have been one of their trade goods.
I highly recommend this site for its rich educational, historical and anthropological significance. People of any age will take away substantive information about those who preceded the Southwestern Native American tribes we know today.
For more information you can call 520-567-3322 or connect to www.nps.gov/tuzi. The monument is located in the Verde Valley off I-17 about 50 miles south of Flagstaff. The entrance fee for Tuzigoot is $3. It''s open from 10am-5pm daily.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 20, 2003
St. Louis, Missouri