Sunday, November 21, 2010

Montezuma's Well

We had an early Thanksgiving get-together last weekend with my parents and brother in Prescott, Arizona. We took an excursion one day out to Cornville, which is in the Verde Valley area between Prescott and Sedona. We ate lunch at the Manzanita Inn, a popular spot with excellent crepes, sandwiches and burgers--worth a stop if you're in the area. Above: Steve, Bill, Mom, and Dad.

After lunch we headed to Montezuma's Well, just a short distance away. It's a gigantic natural cistern that has been there since prehistoric times, filled by over a million gallons of water a day from underground springs. They say it was actually once a cavern and the roof caved in, exposing what you see here. An outlet sends copious amounts of water into Beaver Creek and keeps the water level constant. The cliff dwellings along the top are relics of the Sinagua culture.

These stairs lead down to an Indian cave dwelling. There was also once a thriving pueblo on the rim, see photo below.

The setting is completely unspoiled with sweeping views--it's part of the Montezuma's Castle National Monument but 11 miles away. Next week: Part 2 of our adventure, the V Bar V Petroglyph Site!