June 25: Walnut Canyon National Monument

Again early this morning, I got up by hearing the sound of freight train. I walk out with a digital camera to capture the train without fail this time. I crossed the broad street in front of the motel and waited the freighter. Unfortunately, the result was poor, like this. It is very difficult to get a good shatter chance, right?
Walnut Canyon National Monument. The visitor center features such a wonderful billboard.

A ruin of an Indian tribe who dwelled here 800 years ago. More than several hundreds people were living in more than 300 dwellings they constructed under the natural cave similar to Grand Canyon. We will g0 around the trail from now. The square building above is the visitor center.
The design of a sign is taken from lovely Indian wall paintings.
The dwellers constructed rooms under the cave using sun-baked bricks. I am taking a video film.
Just left of the trail is the ruin of the dwellings.
Brick structure is partly ruined. On the back is probably the remnant of fireplace. On the mortar of the wall was the finger prints of the bricklayers.
We walked for about one and a half hour along the trail reading explanations. I found such a nice pendant at the gift shop. At Walnut Canyon thousands of years ago, people of the ancient desert cultures crafted tiny animals(Kachina doll) from willow twigs and placed them in caves and alcoves. Those split-twig figurines may have been fetishes associated with the prayers for a successful hunt. This pendant is made of sterling silver, crafted by Ramson Lomatewama, a famous Hopi artist. In commemoration of my zodiac "Horse age", I got a horse shaped pendant. I believe this will be my lucky charm.
We drove down to Payson through the thick forest of pine. There are many beautiful lakes on both side of the road.
A parking lot in a park. People enjoy auto-camping and boating. They seem to be relaxed in a leisurely summer vacation.
We also enjoyed a late-hour lunch, taking food we bought at a super market just before we started this morning. Behind us is a ranger's office. A nice-looking middle aged female ranger smiled at us and said, "Please enjoy your break, all of the forest is your restaurant." Our menu: potato salad, tuna salad, vegetable salad, tomato, and sandwich bread. Dessert menu is apple, cherry, banana, and doughnut. Very luxurious lunch, right?
One of luxurious motels in Payson. There is a gas-burning fireplace in the room.
Pool side of the motel. The weather is clear and too cool to swim. We soon returned back the room and put the fireplace on. It was very cool when we went out for diner.

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