The image above was taken at the entrance road to the Lomaki Ruins at Wupatki National Monument.
Last week John, a friend of mine from California, rolled into Kingman for a visit. John and I first met back in the 1970’s and he is a long-time photographer. We have had many email discussions about photography covering composition, equipment and how we view the world.
While John was here, we went on a few road trips in the general area of Kingman but also cruised over to Flagstaff, aka Flag, to shoot the pueblo ruins at Wupatki National Monument. We were blessed with good weather and good cloud cover while he was here which made for some good times.
The first day we drove to Hassyampa Preserve near Wickenburg, AZ. Not much wildlife was present so it was kind of a bust. We then went searching for the Vulture Mine outside of Wickenburg. We could not locate it. Up the road a bit we asked a “snowbird” who winters in Arizona but lives in North Dakota about the mine and he said he was now closed to visitors. We were a little disappointed so we drove up to Prescott and went to Watson Lake. Watson Lake is one of my favorite places in this area and John loved it. A day that started out no so good turned into a great time.
Next on our schedule was a visit to the Hualapai Nation and a drive down Diamond Creek Road to the Colorado River. Diamond Creek Road is not paved but it is in good condition and maintained by the Hualapai Nation for river rafters – however, I would not recommend driving down this road in a low riding sedan. The twenty miles or so drive to the river runs thru some beautiful country. As we neared the river, we saw three not so wild burros standing by the side of the road. We stopped and one of them walked right up to the car. We suspect it was looking for something to eat from us. It’s a shame that people feed these wild animals. On our return trip from the river, those three burros were in the same spot.
The third day we ventured over to Wupatki National Monument. On the drive over there, we got side-tracked in Seligman, Arizona to capture some images along old Route 66. Hopping back in my CRV, we set out for Wupatki and got engaged in a conversation about the different ways of pronouncing the word route. Why is it “Root” 66 and paper “rout”? When we arrived at Wupatki we took the circular route which passes by Sunset Crater (an inactive volcano) and then drops down a little to the flat plateau. Wupatki has four or five different pueblo ruins sites. The area was populated mainly by the Sinagua who constructed the pueblos. They left the area around 1150 A.D. when the volcano at Sunset Crater erupted.
After a great day of shooting images we headed back to Kingman, but first stopped in Flag to get something to eat. We had been talking for some time about getting a cheese burger, chocolate malt and fries to celebrate our time on Route 66. We were fortunate enough to find just that at a place called Miz Zips. If you are ever in Flag, that is the place to eat.
Now wore out, we spent John ‘s last day in Kingman at my place in Vock Canyon, sitting on my front porch, sipping on a couple of beers and just enjoying the solitude. That evening we went to town and ate supper at the Golden Corral featuring jumbo shrimp, prime rib and a lot of dessert.
It was a great visit.