Casa Grande Ruins

We took a little morning trip to Coolidge Arizona to see the Casa Grande Ruins. We were told it is rare for Arizonans to take a tour and for a family to stay as long as we did. I find that strange as we would have stayed longer if our tummies weren’t screaming at us to eat some lunch. But on the other hand I didn’t take lunch because I thought we would be home before that. I guess that means we stayed longer that I thought we would too.

View of the Casa Grande Ruins from the visitor center.

I have so much of this caliche soil in my back yard that I could make one of these pit houses and possibly a Casa Grande as well. In order to plant trees we needed a pitchfork to break up the ground.

This place is rich in history. If you are interested in Native Americans of the Sonoran Desert then you will be happy when you leave. You can also find out a little bit about Spanish explorers and early Americans who visited on their travels as well.

Our guide explaining the genius of the architecture.

The hole in the top left of the structure was put in the exact position to catch the sunset on the day of the Summer Solstice!!! I find this absolutely fascinating. Sunsets are my favorite and although this would have not been enough sun for me in the house I still love the idea and the engineering. The hole in the middle is a vent for the wind to cool off the house. It is surprisingly cool in the house. We didn’t get to go in the big one but you can feel the temperature difference from the doorway.

Walking around the compund


Graffiti of names carved into the walls from those who passed by the ruins. Many from 1800’s

Just look at the ramada that was designed to shade the ruins! It was astonishing as well.

Why yes that is a conch shell in the desert display of artifacts


At one time all of the Sonoran Desert and all of Arizona was under water. Every tall mountain was covered. If you look in the mountains near Payson you can find sea shell and coral fossils that are approx. 4,500 years old. The Sonoran Desert Museum in Tucson has a neat display about the ocean animals that lived here.

And a few black and white for my own viewing pleasure.

I could not pass up all of the flowers that were blooming. The palo verde canopies were drooping from the weight of their flowers. The smell wan carried on the breeze where ever you walked. The Ocotillo were a lush green with red tops and they almost hid the fact that the whole plant is covered in pokey spines. Yikes! While I didn’t share pictures of them (they turned out bad), I do have some to share of the prickly pear cactus blooms.

In bloom!
So. Much. Pollen.
Just a friendly lunchtime game of Rock Paper Scissors.

While we ate lunch the rain clouds had finished moving in and were chasing us home.

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