We carried on up the Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff where a prolonged stop for various reasons allowed the following:
Northern Arizona is very much an active geological area. Just a few months ago a highway near Page, AZ was broken apart by what they figure was geological activity.
We ventured into Sunset Crater Volcano visitor centre where we got a great education about this volcano that erupted about the year 1064……almost a thousand years later the landscape still shows expanses of barrenness. This cinder cone grew to its present height of 8,039 feet above sea level.
We are camped on volcanic rock and ash in another pine forest, most of which is Ponderosa pine and this is supposedly one of the harshest environments for Ponderosa to grow but they are here in volcanic debris. The ground is soft (and very dusty, dirty i.e.. more black wash water) and we regularly break thru holes just under the surface. There is little for underbrush except for some grass blades here and there, an occasional flower. .
The land is very dry. We see no natural water around.
More than 25 generations worth of stories have been retold that symbolize the impact and significance of the Sunset Crater eruption. Passed on through oral traditions carefully transmitted over time, many American Indian people today feel a connection to this place and many people retain this volcano as part of their traditions.
Notice the right side of the hills are without vegetation just charcoal ash.