A Small-Time Mariner’s Voyage, Day 4: Bidding Paradise Farewell


Oct. 14, 2014, Honolulu-  Hawai’i’s role in the life of the United States, and the world, became more complex with the entry of the Trojan horse that was the entry of outside commercial interests into its affairs.  The people of any given nation are far more polyglot now than they were even fifty years ago.  For the land now called the Aloha State, this has meant being a constant target, both domestically and from foreign interests.  A stark reminder of the last time this happened is the USS Missouri/ USS Arizona Memorial, in Pearl Harbor.  We sailed past this stirring sight, on the calm waters of Pearl Harbor, knowing that during our journey, there were no threatening forces between here and San Diego.  Our only challenge was building and maintaining a strong and unified sense of purpose during the six days of return from deployment.


As soon as we headed away from shore, a storm was seen over O’ahu.


As the clouds headed swiftly over the island’s central cordillera, Pai’Olu Olu Point was visible from the starboard side.SAM_3018

Also visible were two gulls  following us, in the off chance that food would be tossed out the galley portal.  No such luck, though.  The Navy is being more careful with what gets put into the ocean these days.


One brown gull hit the deck, and was momentarily stunned.  It took about ten minutes for the poor creature to get re-oriented and head off skyward again.


As the morning wore on, we caught a glimpse of Moloka’i, as we headed through the channel separating it from O’ahu.


The successful start to our cruise to San Diego was celebrated, with the first of several cakes.


The sea reminded us, every so often, of who was boss.  All in all, she would be a reasonable Madame.


A Small Time Mariner’s Voyage, Days 2 & 3, Part Two: The Sanctuary Called Iolani


October 12-13, 2014, Honolulu- There is, in the story of any people, an account of their casting the net of interaction with both neighbouring peoples and those in far-off lands.

Such interactions go back further than is commonly thought, and were far more frequent than often supposed.  Hawaiian people, having come from islands far to the south, had little contact with outsiders, however, until the voyages of the English, under James Cook.  Conflicts between the two groups were not long in coming, however, as the concept of private property was far different in Hawaiian society than in that of the English.  Material goods and property under kapu, or special protection, were not to be taken or disturbed.  The rest was regarded as community property, much as it is in many Native American societies.

When the Hawaiians took items from English ships, after having fed and watered the English, an enraged Cook took action against them, killing a ceremonial chief and destroying a sacred temple.  In response, he was clubbed to death, and while the English fled the islands, they, and ships of several other nations, soon returned. Hawai’i’s strategic value began to draw Americans, Russians and Germans, as well as British and Spanish ships.

This is the background which led to American missionaries and industrialists taking interest in Hawai’i, Hawaiians taking an interest in the wider world, and the eventual de facto colonization of the islands by the United States.

Iolani Palace, built first by Kamehameha III, in 1844, and replaced by David Kalakaua, in 1879, as the first structure, being wooden, had fallen victim to termites.  Another palace (Aiolani Hale), across the street, built by Kamehameha V, is used as a Judiciary Building today.  Hale (HAH-lay) means “chief’s house”, in Hawaiian.  King David’s Iolani is the structure which at which visitors can come to appreciate the level of sophistication to which the Hawaiian nation had attained, by the 1870’s.  It was here that Queen Liliukalani was held, while under house arrest, during the American oocupation of the early 1890’s.

In the 1960’s, the new State of Hawai’i realized the need for preservation of structures such as Iolani Palace, and a preservation campaign ensued, resulting in the marvelous example of American Florentine architecture seen in the following photos.  First is the Iolani Barracks, where private security forces stayed, while taking control of Honolulu in the 1890’s.  It is now a Visitors’ Center for Iolani Palace.  Photos of the palace exterior follow.




Banyan trees cover the grounds immediately to the north of the palace.


Prior to entering the palace, visitors are briefed as to protocol, and given plastic booties, to place over their shoes.  This is a continuation of a practice begun by Kamahameha III.  Indeed, visitors to Hawaiian homes are expected to remove their shoes, before entering.

The Grand Staircase presents itself to the visitor, upon entry into Iolani Palace.  The architect initially wanted to build a separate staircase for royalty, but the King and Queen vetoed the idea, saying they could use the same entry and exit as their servants and advisers.  While Hawaiian society was quite stratified, there were key elements of egalitarianism in place.


The dining room was maintained in the manner which David Kalakaua had seen in Europe, during his round the world journey.


In fact, most of the Palace reflects European regalia.

The Red Throne Room was a place of coronations, and of official greetings afforded visiting Heads of State, including Emperor Franz-Josef, of Austria-Hungary and his Empress.  The twin crowns placed on King David Kalakaua and Queen Kapiolani are shown in the bottom photo.  King David’s tastes were quite extravagant, which he justified by pointing to the similar largesse of the crowned heads of Europe.  Hawai’i, however, could not sustain the costs, and the country plunged into depression.  This opened the door for the Dole family and their accomplices to machinate for the overthrow of the monarchy.



The Blue Room is a conference room, and was also where the monarchs entertained their guests.  Queen Liliukalani, who briefly succeeded her brother, Kalakaua, was a prolific songstress and musician.  Several of her compositions, including Aloha Oe, are staples of Hawaiian music, to this day.


Queen Liliukalani was held in this room, during the islands’ rule by the Committee of Safety, the term which the American businessmen used to justify their seizure of the country.


While incarcerated, she sewed a magnificent quilt, shown here.


Here are some other collections of the royal family- wine bottles and the family jewels.  These are found in the basement of the palace.




Finally, here is a view of the Lord Chamberlain’s Office.


Thus, we see the conundrum in which the Hawaiian people found themselves.  In striving for modernity and to be taken seriously as a country, Hawai’i walked right into the waiting arms of opportunists.  For a period of time, Native Hawaiians could not vote, and had few civil rights.  It is thus no wonder that Haole are viewed with mistrust, in certain circumstances.  In visiting this most unique part of our country, it is well that the visitor familiarize self with both the gentle Spirit of Aloha and the unresolved grief that lies behind the welcome. Below, are Queen Liliukalani and King Kamehameha I.    Mahalo, my friends.



A Small Time Mariner’s Voyage, Days 2 &3, Part One: Amid Spouting Waters


October 12 & 13, Honolulu-  In five hours’ time, I found myself having left behind the measured bustle and polyglot ambiance of San Diego for- the measured relaxation and polyglot ambiance of Honolulu.  Seated beside me on the flight was a quiet, demure and mildly cordial Native Hawaiian woman, headed home.  This brought to mind the warnings I had gotten from some in Arizona, that “Locals in Oahu don’t like haoles (Caucasians).”  I didn’t get the vibes from her, or any other person in Honolulu, that I was particularly disliked; then again, I rarely have gotten those vibes from any person of colour- save the occasional drunk.   I take each person as I would have him or her take me.  It works, by and large. Hawai’i ought to be seen, first and foremost, as the sacred land of a deeply cultured and spiritual people- just like anywhere in the Americas.

I met my son, Aram, at Honolulu International Airport.  We took a Honolulu city bus to my hotel in Waikiki, sharing stories with a Brazilian man who was in the midst of a round-the-world journey.  He had much to say about Korea, India, Turkey and the Iberian Peninsula, in particular, the last being an exercise in “whose Portuguese is the true language?” I checked into Hokele Suites, two blocks north of the beach and an equal distance south of Ala Wai Channel.  The medium high rise has all the amenities needed by a modest sojourner like myself, and is near enough to the beach that I could don a swimsuit and a pair of reef runners- and get my fill of sand and surf.  Watching out for me was this composed wahine.


Aram and I headed out to Kimukatsu, a restaurant specializing in Japanese-style cutlet, usually pork.  The Japanese tend to regard veal as a waste of  a good animal that is better used to provide mature beef.  So, the hog is a useful substitute.  Katsu  (cutlets) establishments abound in Japan, and in Korea, Guam, Hawai’i and anywhere else with large Japanese communities.    Kimu offered gourmet toppings, such as those shown in the second photo below.



We then walked about the Ala Wai area, along the south bank of the channel, taking in Honolulu’s encroaching dusk.



Waikiki is inundated with high rises, both condominium and hotel, but the spirit of the place still reflects the spouting waters for which it is named.  Ala Wai is not the stinking mess I was told it had been in the ’80’s and 90’s.  It reminds me more of Riverwalk in San Antonio, or the paths along the Seine.  True, those places face the challenges of  being treasured by the masses, and I probably wouldn’t swim in Ala Wai, even if it were legal to do so.  There is, however, a growing civic sense that this is an area that is as much for year-round residents as it is for those who come and go.

The next morning, I saw the channel at sunrise.



After joining a fair number of locals in an IHOP, for a breakfast of Belgian waffles and coffee, I headed for Pauahi Garden, near the Sheraton Waikiki.  (Sushi, the alternative, somehow escapes me as a breakfast item, though it is common enough fare for the Asian communities here.)  Bernice Pauhi Bishop was of the royalty of Maui and Moloka’i.  She was highly educated and was an astute businesswoman, eventually owning 9 % of the island of O’ahu.  She died at age 52, of breast cancer, and left no heirs.  The small gardens in the hotel district of Waikiki Beach,though, were established in her honour.


The hearts I invariably encounter on my journeys were in abundance here, in the form of leaves.


No visit to Honolulu is complete without time in the sand, and at least a nod to Diamond Head.


Helumoa, the midst of Waikiki (“Spouting Waters”, in Hawaiian), was the favoured relaxation site of Kamehameha I and his successors.  When  American businessmen took control of Hawai’i in 1898, they, too, saw the salubrious nature of the spot.  Being entrepreneurs, they set in motion the process which gave us the Waikiki shorefront of today.  Hawaiians revered the shark, yet somehow I don’t think they were quite prepared for the human sharks who descended on them in the lattter third of the 19th Century.  Waikiki today is in the process of balancing itself, to be more in tune with the natural beauty it once had in abundance.


We have reached the stage in Honolulu’s legacy where the first hotel in Waikiki, the Surfrider, is a genuine historic site.


Later in the afternoon, before I headed to Pearl Harbor, and my son’s ship, another walk along the strand was in order.  The Wizard Stones, near Waikiki Police Substation, are held to have healing powers.  At the very least, they are reminders of nature’s power, having been sent here in a volcanic outburst, ages ago.  Lava also is used in the various breakwaters that line children’s pools and the boundaries of hotel properties along the strand.





Sand, though, is the prime real estate.  Below, King David Kalakaua, who succeeded the Kamehameha line in an election, of all things, continued the royal promotion of  education for all Hawaiian children.


Those who promote Hawaiian culture to the world are also honoured.  Don Ho is remembered for pop  and lounge renditions of Hawaiian songs, and is revered by many here on O’ahu.,


With limited time in Honolulu, I chose to focus much of the rest of my day on the true legacy of the Native Hawaiian people, and one of its treasure troves:  Iolani Palace.

A Small Time Mariner’s Voyage- Day 1: California Musings


October 11, 2014, San Diego- I set out for San Diego on Friday night, actually, from this point in a town called Chino Valley,

AZ, where a few of us played musical instruments and sang as a send-off for what I hope is my last journey out of the Four Corners region, for a while.  I love the journey, but have a hard time with the backlash from those who don’t get that I actually care about them.  The fact that these are family members doesn’t make it any easier.  Maybe once they see that I am staying close to home, and am working as hard as they are, things will get better between us.

Now, back to the subject at hand. My friends, the Brehmers, were hosts at the jumping-off gathering.


As I drove across Arizona’s Outback, it was notable that two towns with which I am familiar, Wenden and Salome, had been drenched by the remnants of Hurricane Simon.  These towns in the western Sonora Desert are normally bone-dry.  Yesterday and today were different, though.

I got to Blythe, on the Colorado River, and stopped for the night, at Relax Inn.  It was a bit sultry, as the AC had quit, but I slept well, anyway.  This morning, I got up, ate a quick breakfast at Steaks and Cakes, and blazed to San Diego- getting into town around 3 PM.

This weekend, America’s Hometown celebrates Oktoberfest AND Italian Heritage Days, so rooms were at a premium, and scarce.  I got a spot at Premier Inn, on Pacific Coast Highway, near Old Town, and set out for Little Italy, taking my first ride on San Diego’s trolley.  One of my favourite Italian restaurants, Filippi’s, awaited, as did the Chalk Art Festival, stretching from India Street to Amici Park.






The presence of lilacs, and of Italian cypress trees, adds a grand ambiance to the already bellissimo Little Italy.



After an especially fabulous meal at the never-disappointing Filippi’s, I ended the evening with a walk over to Horton Plaza, in the heart of downtown.  The shopping mecca now has its own obelisk.


San Diego is never a disappointment.  The day ahead  would bring me to another city which holds out promise in that regard:  Honolulu.

My Favourites List: Ten Prescott Restaurants


October 8, 2014, Prescott- My next few posts will focus on the places, and people, who help make this life sweet.  Living alone, I get out and walk around Prescott just about every day.  Here are my ten favourite places in town, to stop in for lunch or dinner, or an occasional breakfast.

10.  Scout’s-  This is a novel and refreshingly-themed place to get a tasty sub for lunch.  Each item is named for a particular National Park, and it’s all made from scratch.  Soups are good here, also.  I stop here when getting my car serviced nearby, or when going for a haircut at Fantastic Sam’s.

9.  Rosa’s- Arguably the best Italian restaurant, in a town filled with good pizza and pasta.  I usually grab a seat at one of the long counters.  It’s always homey, and sometimes raucous.  The food never disappoints.

8. Sue Ann’s Apple Pan– I’ve only been here a few times, being a “breakfast at home” kind of guy.  Sue Ann’s lunch items, though, are also made fresh.  Here, too, I sit at the counter, feeling more at home that way.

7.  Lone Spur- Being right downtown, this is one of two places to really load up on food, if the day requires a “one-meal” schedule.  It’s all great stuff, and runs the gamut from heart-healthy fruits and grains to local cultural icons like chorizo, or biscuits and gravy.

6.  Zeke’s Eatin’ Place-  This used to be the toast, and a lot of other stuff, of Prescott Valley.  Now, Zeke’s is an anchor for the resurgent Frontier Village, on the Prescott Yavapai Indian Reservation, just east of town.  Like Lone Spur, Zeke’s is an old-fashioned, pack-it-in, establishment.  The food is well-prepared and hearty, and one can easily take home enough for two more meals.,

5.  Wildflower Bakery- This is the only chain establishment on my list, and it’s always crowded, but the counter staff and servers are as friendly as if they were working for Mom and Pop.  It’s all healthy here, even the pastries. The fireplace adds to a relaxing ambiance.  Wildflower is on the east side of Prescott’s Gateway Mall, three miles east of downtown.

4.  Shannon’s-  Here’s another small, downtown establishment, with freshly made sandwiches, and the best soups in town. Shannon and Murphy specialize in cheesecakes, which come as a treat, every now and then- and make great gifts.

3.  Soldi’s-  Three spunky young ladies, work out of a stationary food cart, in a garden setting.  The kids, helped by their mother, put on a fabulous lunch, with modest portions.  Friday nights feature custom hors d’oeuvres, to which one may bring one’s own beverage.  Soldi’s is bound for nothing but success.

2.  Park Avenue Deli-  An unassuming strip mall place, on the southwest corner of downtown, and on the front end of a liquor store, of all places, Park Avenue is run by two mellow young folks- Jessica and Jon.  The place is geared towards parties of three or more, but I’ve always been accommodated when dining alone.  It’s never dull, with high-powered business people, groups of guys or ladies who seem to be friends of one of the staff, and random seniors coming in from the pharmacy across the way.  I often learn more about what’s going on in town here than I do from Prescott’s Facebook page.  The food is excellent and well-portioned.

1. Raven Cafe-  Everything here is organic, both food and beverages.  It’s another lively spot, and seems to be full with regulars, no matter what time of day or evening I happen by.  Raven is also geared towards groups, but Lone Wolves are welcomed.  Staff is a bit phlegmatic towards non-drinkers, but the food is fabulous and the rest of the ambiance is refreshing.

At most of these places, the staff would recognize me as the quiet, unassuming soul who takes a place at the counter, or at a small table, orders pleasantly but quickly, eats relatively quickly and takes his leave without fanfare.  Nonetheless, I appreciate everything they do to make our lives here more pleasant and well-nourished.

Stuff and Nonsense


October 7, 2014, Prescott- Yes, I have caught up with all my travel and hiking posts, for a few days at least.  I have a few days with no work, due to Fall Break in the schools, so I am mostly listening to “imperative” podcasts that are “vital” to my well-being, shoring up various aspects of my essential oils training, working in my back yard and exercising at Planet Fitness.

Sometime on Friday, I will head out to San Diego, find a safe place for my vehicle on Saturday, fly to Honolulu on Sunday and next Tuesday will be on my son’s ship, joining the crew headed back to San Diego.  This will put me more or less incommunicado for six days or so.  That will be something of a relief to some of my extended family, who have been sick of me for a good long time.  Ditto for most of the American Legion post members, but after this Thursday night, the latter may be a moot point; we’ll see.

The bloom has been off my rose, to these people, for reasons I have yet to figure, for several weeks now. My father told us kids, years ago, that when people don’t like us, it’s their problem, not ours, and as long as we come from a place of truth, we don’t need our detractors and critics, no matter how “close” they are.  So, I will continue on, with the love I get from “those who care, and matter”, as one of my better friends here reminded me on FB recently.  I have support from my Baha’i community, from a handful of friends here in town and online, and from most of my family, including my son.

Once I get back from California, on Oct. 25, there won’t be much taking me out of the Southwest, until next May- barring any more deaths in the family.  2014 has been quite a clearing out process, for both family and friends.  I hope it’ll tone down a bit.  My main concern during that time period will be replenishing my coffers, with my own effort, thank you.  Hope all my well-wishers are doing okay this Fall.

The Secular Amid The Sacred: A Journey to Salt Lake City, Part IV


September 19-20, 2014-  I made the short drive from Salt Palace to the Utah State Capitol complex, on the Friday afternoon of the the convention.  Like many Capitol buildings, Utah’s is built in the style of ancient

Greece and Rome, with a cupola in the middle.  It is smaller than some, but every bit as majestic in its approach.


The area was deserted, save for a lone young Native American man, who had planted himself in front of the central vantage point for photographing the building.  Thus, everyone who wanted such a photo would have to include him in the shot, or at least ask his leave, before photographing.  I had no such designs, and chose the northeastern angle for making my photograph.  Some days, I’m more isolationist than others.

Across the street are the Old Salt Lake City Hall, and the 18th Ward Chapel.  Mormons refer to their “parishes” as “wards”.  The ward building was moved here from further down the hill, so as to make room for a larger civic project, while preserving the older building.



A two-sided memorial to the Mormon pioneers is also on the Capitol grounds.



As another reader pointed out yesterday, Mormon families are especially proud of ancestors who were pioneers that pulled a hand cart, in the process of settlement. I set my vehicle towards one more night at Wasatch Inn, and a fish dinner at Coachmans.

The next day, once the Convention was officially over, I forewent a post-convention concert, and headed for home.  One stop was left, at the well-lit LDS temple in Manti, a small, but thriving farming community, about two hours south of Salt Lake City.


I learned immense amounts of information during those three days, all of it practical.  Essential oils will loom large in my life, over the next several years.

A Gleaming Citadel: A Journey to Salt Lake City, Part III


Sept. 19-20, 2014-  Lunch hours at the the convention ran two hours.  On Friday, this gave me the chance to revisit Temple Square, home to the grand edifices and garden of the Mormon Faith.  The health systems and personal health regimen espoused by the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are the impetus to the essential oils movement.  So, although I follow another Faith (Baha’i) which prescribes strict adherence to healthy life practices, I am very appreciative of the Mormons’ dedication to a better world.

I first visited these buildings in 1999, during an educational seminar at the University of Utah. I got to engage a few people in the Tabernacle Visitors’ Center about spiritual matters, but did not photograph the complex.  On the latest visit, I was able to enter the Salt Lake City Tabernacle and the Tabernacle Chapel, but, as is customary, I did not enter the Mormon Tabernacle itself.

Here are some views of the sights in Temple Square. The first is the Tabernacle Chapel, approached from the west.

SAM_2806 Upon entering Temple Square, the first sight is the excellent Genealogical Research Center, open to all.


The Mormon Tabernacle stands on the northeast quadrant of the complex, and carries its share of majesty.



The Tabernacle Chapel is open to visitors, and young people serving their mission to the Church serve as hosts and guides.  A couple of young women from Taiwan were hosts on the day I visited.



I next strolled the garden, before taking a brief look inside Salt Lake City Tabernacle, a domed structure, which houses the headquarters of the local LDS community.





Most of the statues in the garden are esoteric to the theology of the Mormon Faith.  This statue of a Utah pioneer, however, speaks to the striving of many, regardless of Faith.



This is the exterior of Salt Lake City Tabernacle.


Here is its interior, similar to, but slightly larger than, the Chapel.


There were many other visitors during this lunch period, including several of my fellow Conventioneers, but it was a serene and peaceful visit. Regardless of one’s personal creed, an appreciation of the gifts offered by such as the Mormons benefits everyone.

NEXT:  The Utah State Capitol and adjoining buildings

The Sheer Essentials: A Journey to Salt Lake City, Part II


September 18-20, 2014-  The Salt Palace, and Energy Solutions Arena (home of the Utah Jazz, are imposing, spacious edifices.  We were able to switch from one venue to the other, on alternating days, this year.  Next year, both structures will be used simultaneously, for each day of the Convention.



I started off the day with a lovely breakfast of Swedish pancakes, stuffed with lingonberries, and sausage patties.  Coffee was bracing and delicious.  Though Utah is not known as a haven for coffee drinkers, or alcoholic beverage drinkers, for that matter, I had no trouble getting a satisfying cup of joe, nor did anyone desiring a nip or three seem to have to go without.  Coachmans Diner and Pancake House is a large, clean establishment, with hearty meals throughout the day and evening.

The sessions on Days 1 &2 stressed the importance this company attaches to our voluntary adherence to safe preparation and use of essential oils.  What makes these products Certified Therapeutic Grade is the total lack of additives in all our offerings.  Here are some caveats:  Parents using the oils on their children need to exercise common sense.  Oils like oregano and peppermint, being harsh, need to be cut with coconut oil, before being given to people, such as children and seniors, with sensitive constitutions.  Check the label, and if the oil is supposed to be used TOPICALLY, do NOT take  it ORALLY.  More is not better; too much of an oil will counteract the desired effect.  

The free market is a good thing, for essential oils, as well as most other products.  No matter what brand you use, do exercise due diligence in your purchase.  I, for one, will always vet my product, to make sure it’s worthwhile for the customer.  Our mantra is:  The long-term goal of essential oils use is WELLNESS. Essential oils are not snake oils.

Coming back from lunch on Thursday, I spotted a robotic plane (not a drone), controlled by a hand-held remote, coming in for a landing outside Salt Palace.  No innocent bystanders were either scared or hurt in the lunch-time festivities.SAM_2831 Nearby, there is also the pleasant-looking Maurice Abravenel Music Hall.


Salt Lake City spares no expense in providing cultural enrichment to the citizenry.  In 1857, Devereaux House was built, as a literary salon and public meeting place.  It remains an historic site, open to reserved, guided tours.


Day 3 was another series of product demonstrations and celebrations of individual and collective personal achievements. This is as good a place as any to hone one’s self-sufficiency and health & wellness skills.

Here are a supply of prizes, a parade of hard working oils consultants, and a Youth Choir providing the closing songs.  It was a solid three days of instruction for those like me, who are not always brimming with good business sense.




Next, I will close with scenes from visits to Temple Square and Utah’s own Capitol Hill.

Trailheads and Trails, Volume 1, Issue 22: Sunset Crater


September 28, 2014-  Flagstaff has always been friendly to me.  So, on a Sunday afternoon, I drove up for a brief visit with some Hopis who were in town for a Native American Arts and Crafts Fair, which the Hopi Tribe was sponsoring.  Flag has worked at being more welcoming to Native Americans, over the past twenty years or so, and the mural seen across the street is one small example of the change in attitude.


There had been a terrific downpour, from Casa Grande to Tuba City, the day before, and Flagstaff had seen its share of the threat of flood waters.  It looked, on that Sunday however, that all was well, in the end. The sandbags were still in place, in front of the municipal courthouse.


After a latte at Macy’s, one of my favourites in Flagstaff, I headed out to Sunset Crater.  It’s near Wupatki, which I had visited a few weeks earlier.  Sunset is the remnant of a much larger volcano, which erupted full-blast in the 1060’s. The Lava Beds extend for ten miles or so.  Here is a Lava Flow trail, with a view of the San Francisco Peaks in the background.


From the same trail, Strawberry Crater, five miles to the northeast, is visible.


The scenery in volcanic parks tends to like like something straight out of JRR Tolkien’s Mordor.  It is an object lesson in the lingering power of volcanic activity.  In the long run, though, the soil is renewed.  That’s important to remember, when encountering scenes like this.  In fact, I learned that the Sinagua people chose Wupatki as a place to build angular pueblos, as a symbol of persistence, in the wake of the Sunset Crater eruptions.  The Hopi believe their Kana-a kachinas (spirits) are associated with the crater and its eruptions.  Navajos and Zuni also revere this peak, as well as all the mountains nearby. Settlers cherished the volcano as well, and actively thwarted a film company’s attempt to blow up the crater in 1929, during the making of “Avalanche”.  As a result, President Herbert Hoover set aside 3,000 acres for the present Sunset Crater National Monument.

The trails in Sunset Crater National Monument tend to be benign and flat. The exception is the cardiopulmonary fitness experience known as Lenox Crater Trail- 300 feet straight up.  The Ponderosa pine regrowth is about 30 years old.


From the top of Lenox, Sunset Crater is visible, to the east.


Much more in the way of igneous rock is visible, along the Long Trail, which is less than a mile in length, actually.


This little crater comes with a “No playing inside” warning.  It is actually quite fragile.


Some iron deposit is visible, in this broken-off piece of lava.


Here is a long pit, on the west side of Long Trail.


Lightning had hit the cracked rock below.


From Cinder Hills overlook, at the eastern end of the Monument, copper and iron-inflected soil is visible, atop the cones for which the overlook is named.


With its eponym on the way, I got one last shot of Sunset Crater.  The peak cannot be hiked, due to its sensitive condition.  This is true of a great many volcanoes, both active and dormant.  The danger to peak and climber alike is just too real.  DO HEED THE RANGERS’ INSTRUCTIONS!SAM_2893