Monday, February 17, 2014

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument

Today we drove about 20 miles East to visit the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument...very intersting, informative and another example of the great history in the Southwest United States.

Borrowed the following from their website;

"Do you know the difference between a National Monument and a National Park is the way they are created. National Parks require Congressional approval but National Monuments are established by Executive Order of the President. The establishment of Casa Grande Ruins was the first federal prehistoric and cultural reservation by President Benjamin Harrison in 1892.

This is the site that was an Ancient Sonoran Desert People's farming community and "Great House" which are preserved at Casa Grande Ruins. Whether the Casa Grande was a gathering place for the Desert People or simply a waypoint marker in an extensive system of canals and trading partners is but part of the mystique of the Ruins. Trying to find the right mix of old and new for coating the historic walls has been a never ending test. Current efforts use a slurry of caliche soil and a small amount of additive. An estimated six million pounds of caliche were used in the construction of the Casa Grande. Caliche is a naturally occurring soil consisting of clay, sand and calcium carbonate found in the deserts of the southwest.

Who were the ancient Sonoran Desert people? Archeological evidence suggests they may have descended from an earlier hunting and gathering “Archaic” culture that began in this area around 5,500 B.C.E. Over time, as the area grew hotter and drier, wild plants and animals became less abundant. Domesticated corn from Mesoamerica was introduced and appears to have influenced a gradual transition from hunting and gathering to a more settled farming existence. Adapting to the dry conditions of the desert, these early farmers learned to use water from mountain run-offs and rivers to irrigate their fields. By 300 C.E., these desert dwellers had formed a distinct culture, identified in part by their particular form of pottery called “red-on-buff.”

Click here to view more of the intersting information on the The Casa Grande Ruins National Monument.

Wednesday we are off again this time to Queen Creek Olive Mill one of the "10 delicious destinations in the Valley of the Sun". The Queen of Olive Oil: Locally grown olives pressed into rich extra virgin olive oil is the beauty behind Queen Creek Olive Mill, a family owned company that brings olive oil from their farm to your table. The olive oil may taste Italian, but this place is western to the core – you can even ride your horse in and park at a brand new hitching post with a watering trough while you tour and shop.

Also on our short list is a visit to Cayward Farms where cotton is grown. Need a reservation to get into this place.

More updates coming...

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