Kelso Dunes—The Singing Dunes of California

When in the Mojave Desert, one must play in the sand—and what better place to do so than on the Kelso Dunes? Kelso Dunes, also known as the Kelso Dune Field, is the largest field of aeolian sand deposits in the Mojave Desert. Protected by the Mojave National Preserve, the dunes are located near the town of Baker, San Bernardino County, California.

Continue reading “Kelso Dunes—The Singing Dunes of California”

Lake Havasu: An Oasis in the Arizona Desert

In the middle of the desert, we found ourselves strolling along the lakeshore, listening to palm trees swaying in the gentle spring breeze, and watching boats and ducks bobbing on the water. Lake Havasu was a well-deserved oasis for us, after months of desert dwelling! The lake sits on the border of Arizona and California on Colorado River, and is home to London Bridge, relocated from England in 1968.

Continue reading “Lake Havasu: An Oasis in the Arizona Desert”

Beyond Sedona: Montezuma Castle, Tuzigoot, and Jerome, Arizona

Evidence of the Sinagua people (from Spanish “sin agua,” meaning “without water”) in the Sedona area dates as far back as 600 A.D. The tribes were involved in agriculture and developed trade routes which lead them to interact with the Hohokam people, who were skilled in irrigation systems. The Sinagua are believed to be related to the Aztec and/or Maya people and were experts in cotton weaving, red clay pottery, and jewelry. They kept dogs and parrots as pets, and wild turkeys as a food source. Throughout the centuries, their dwellings evolved from teepees to intricate adobe structures—some with up to thirty-five rooms, housing hundreds of people—a sign of change from a nomadic lifestyle to a more static one.

Today, there are several Sinaguan sites in the Sedona area: Honanki in the western canyons, Tuzigoot just outside Cottonwood, and Montezuma Castle and Well, located off I-17 in Rimrock and Camp Verde.

Continue reading “Beyond Sedona: Montezuma Castle, Tuzigoot, and Jerome, Arizona”

Flagstaff, Arizona

Perched at almost 7,000 feet, Flagstaff (or Flag, as the locals endearingly call it) is home to Humphreys Peak, Arizona’s tallest mountain. The town welcomes avid skiers at the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort and star gazers at the Lowell Observatory. Nearby, one can discover ancient native pueblos in the Wupatki National Monument and explore the Native American cliff dwellings of Walnut Canyon.

Continue reading “Flagstaff, Arizona”