[Not a valid template]INFO: Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument is a U.S. National Monument in the north-central part of Arizona, intended to protect Sunset Crater, a cinder cone that is part of the San Francisco Volcanic Field. It is maintained by the National Park Service in close conjunction with nearby “Wupatki National Monument” rich in Native American ruins.
YEAR: Summer 2010
STORY: We rose and shined early from our hotel in Tuba city. We had planned to drive towards Flagstaff and visit “Sunset Crater” and “Wupatki National Monument”. Those two places are located around 35 km (56 miles) north-east from Flagstaff. After just a little over one hour drive we entered the park area from road 89. You can enter the park from two different entrances and we choose to take the first entrance (if you are driving from Flagstaff) and visit the crater area first, and the Indian ruins secondly. I took a few shots of the crater and its surroundings, and then we continued our trip to the ruins. During the short drive we noticed that the land was reddish and dry, and vegetation was very scarce. Wukoki Ruins was first in line to visit and had some really interesting ruins mounted on top of a big stone. I snapped a few shots and then switched to another camera hoping to capture a bird or a reptile. I guess it was a bit ambitious of me, expecting to see them at this hour of the day considering how hot it was. Luckily there where a few small birds flying around which I actually managed to capture. I also found a very colorful lizard resting in the shade by the ruins, which I however didn’t manage to capture.
Next place was a Wupatki ruins which was bigger and much more complex than the other, it even had a visitor center and guides. We where approached by one of the guides who where quiet an enthusiast, and had lots of interesting facts to share with us regarding the ruins. She explained that in the ruins the ancient indians had created a room which actually had air conditioning, and it was connected to something which she called an air-hole, located several meters below the ruins itself. Standing by the small air-hole, if you placed your hand on top of it, you could actually feel quite a strong draft coming out from it. Building such a thing was quite an accomplishment considering that it still works to this day. While walking along the ruins, a bird of prey was hoovering above us, creating quite a feeling and an ancient atmosphere. I managed to capture it while it was sweeping the air above us. I believe it was a Red-tailed hawk, but I am not sure.
• Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
• Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark IV
• Lenses: EF 16-35 F/2.8 L USM Mark II with circular polarizing filter
• Lenses: EF 100-400 F/4.5 – 5.6 L IS USM