Montezuma is not for the faint of heart

I guess I could be talking about Montezuma's Revenge, and that alone would cause a faint heart - or least a weak stool. But fortunately or unfortunately (depending on the way your mind bends) I am not making reference to traveller's diarrhea. I'm referring to one of the most well-preserved cliff dwellings in North America. This is the creme-de-la-creme of high-rise apartments. Being in the Verde Valley only makes it more special.

We visited here at the behest of my partner, a lover of cultural history who has wanted to see this sight firsthand since we moved to Arizona. Since we are now looking to move back to California, we are feverishly pinning our tacks to potential national monuments we'd like to see before leaving the beautiful Southwest.

In the early part of December in 1906, President Roosevelt commemorated the passage of the Antiquities Act by declaring four sites of historic and cultural significance as our nation's first National Monuments. I became interested in National Monuments as a result of my Natural Resources class with Joe Feller, so I can't resist providing a bit of history. Anyway, among these was Montezuma Castle, which the President identified as a place "of the greatest ethnological value and scientific interest."

The thing that gets me is that early visitors were allowed access by using propped-up ladders. Now, the only access you get is visual. You can go no closer than we are as pictured. We paid five dollars to pose for this pic and another one I'm about to reference. I was a bit misaligned about it all and my partner was quick to chastise me. My partner has all but refused to admit that I am a cheap skate. I swear I rummage through her backpack looking for a loose dime every chance I get.

We'd been in the park maybe five minutes before a major rain pellet storm overtook us. Below you can see my son and I after about two minutes of the rainstorm that ended up lasting for about twenty minutes.



Below is the whole family posing in front of the castle. It was a beautiful site. Was it worth ten dollars? Lisa rebukes me every time I verbally complain about the importance of my economic resources with some heavy-handed argument about how the national parks are closing because people always want to see a part of our ecological history for pennies and are unwilling to dig into their wallets to help fund the salaries of the people who upkeep our national parks. Does this type of response sound harsh? At least we look happy in the family pic. Looks have got to count for something in this world of dwindling economic resources.

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