May 5, 2014 Bonito and Sunset Crater

Since we didn’t have far to go today, we decided to do a few errands before leaving.  Our first stop was to the Coconino National Forest Ranger Station for some maps and information.  Our second stop was to the local Visitor Center for more information in this area and other information as we head north.  Sometimes it is overwhelming – too many things to see and not enough time..  Our last stop was for gas for the Tracker and for the generator since we are headed to a no hookup campground.

Back at the campground, we unhooked everything and headed north  - 12 miles – HA – long day!

We are in the Bonito Campground of the Coconino National Forest.  Here is our site:

05-05-14 B Bonita Campground (3)

The campground – we don’t have a lot of company:

05-05-14 B Bonita Campground (4)

Side view:

05-05-14 B Bonita Campground (6)

Beautiful, isn’t it – Smile

After setting up and having lunch, we stopped over at the Sunset Crater National Monument Visitor Center.

“Sunset Crater erupted less than 1000 years ago and is considered to be the youngest in the San Francisco Volcanic Field.  It is a cinder cone that was formed when basalt magma rose directly to the surface through  a primary vent.  Gas pressure produced a roaring fountain of lava estimated at 850 feet high.  Pressure blasted the lava into pieces, which cooled in flight and piled into this cone-shaped hill.  As gas pressure decreased, lava oozed several times from the base of the cone.  When the magma ran out of gas, lava spattered the rim.  The volcano was short-lived, only months or a couple of years at most.

The bright rimmed cone impressed John Wesley Powell, who explored the San Francisco volcanic field in 1885.  He wrote, “The contrast in the colors is so great that on viewing the mountain from a distance the red cinders seem to be on fire.”  His “Sunset” mountain became known officially as Sunset Crater.”

Sunset Crater:

05-05-14 A Sunset Crater (19)

The lava field – WOW!:

05-05-14 A Sunset Crater (10)

05-05-14 A Sunset Crater (12)

This area of the country is very significant to many of the American Indian Peoples.

05-05-14 A Sunset Crater (6)a

05-05-14 A Sunset Crater (7)

05-05-14 A Sunset Crater (8)

05-05-14 A Sunset Crater (9)

Not only Sunset Crater was important but also the San Francisco Peaks:

05-05-14 A Sunset Crater (27)a

The San Francisco Mountains are sculpted in four peaks.  From L-R: Agassiz, Humphreys, Fremont, and Doyle:

05-05-14 A Sunset Crater (35)

We came back and just enjoyed our surroundings.  Andy taking his afternoon nap:

05-05-14 B Bonita Campground (7)

Road trip day tomorrow so stay tuned and enjoy today.

Thanks for coming along with us. Smile

Stats for today:

Miles Traveled: 12 miles

Routes Traveled:

Arizona:  US89


1 comment:

Judith Bell said...

Doesn't look like you'll get much fertilizer at that gorgeous site.