After we visited Sunset Crater, Jeff and I drove along the loop road towards Wupatki National Monument, a cluster of prehistoric Native American dwellings. As the road rises and falls, and curves around cinder cones, you have a panoramic view of the Vermillion Cliffs, an escarpment to the north. Its pastel pinks and blues shimmer in the distance.
Since we’ve visited the several outlying pueblos before, we focused on the biggest one, Wupatki itself. Around 1100AD, native peoples built these dwellings out of the red rock, and soon had a population of thousands in the surrounding area.
I love how the builders used the huge boulders as back walls for their houses. And they have two ball courts. One has a blowhole, where a cold wind blows from beneath the land through a small hole in the ground. It was prehistoric air conditioning, and I’m sure it was appreciated by the overheated players (or current visitor) on the court.
There’s something so spiritual, peaceful and serene about Wupatki. The red rocks and dwellings, the unobstructed view of the Vermillion Cliffs, the San Francisco Peaks in the distance, all of it calms my soul every time I visit.