The arrangement of the windows inside the Kiva and the light reflected through them fascinates me. The time spent observing the Sun to get the placement just right…in so many of our ancient cultures it was so important to do that…to take the time.
Near Aztec, New Mexico over 1,000 years ago, Ancestral Pueblo people constructed a large planned community that served their society for over two centuries. Aztec Ruins National Monument, which is part of the Chaco Culture National Historical Park World Heritage Site, preserves the remains of this well planned community, which is the largest Ancestral Puebloan community in the Animas River Valley. While the Ancestral Pueblo people are responsible for the construction of this site, the ruins received their name when early European settlers mistakenly attributed the ruins to the Aztecs of Mexico. A visit to the park provides not only a glimpse into the lives of Ancestral Pueblo people but also a place to connect with the cultural heritage of American Indians today.
These photos were taken the last two days in March.
On the way to the Fort Rock you pass by the small town of Fort Rock, home to the Fort Rock Homestead Museum. We took photos in 2015 which I will share but first a little info from fortrockoregon.com.
The Fort Rock Valley Historical Society, founded in 1984 with eight charter members, conceived the Homestead Village which opened in 1988 with two buildings, the Webster cabin and Dr. Thom’s office. In the ensuing years more land was acquired from the BLM and more buildings were brought in from surrounding homestead sites. Many of the buildings were considered hazardous to open range cattle and were scheduled to be put to the torch.
Since that time, several more homes, a church and school have been moved to the village as well as pieces of vintage equipment. As this is an ongoing project, more structures and historical pieces will be added in the future.
Though most of the Fort Rock homesteaders did not make it financially, they left stories of fond memories of the community they forged out of this land. For most, their optimism and positive spirit was rewarded as they moved on to take advantage of the bounty the Northwest had to offer during that period.
With wide open vistas, clear air and starlit nights, the high desert of Oregon was an intoxicating place…and it still is!
Preserving the PastFort Rock Village
On February 15, 1984, the Fort Rock Valley Historical Society was formed by eight people interested in preserving the history of the homestead era, which peaked in 1912.
First two photos from the web site:
Below are a few photos I took… These were taken on a typical Oregon Rainy Day
Fort Rock is a volcanic landmark called a tuff ring, located on an ice age lake bed in north Lake County, Oregon, United States. The ring is about 4,460 feet (1,360 m) in diameter and stands about 200 feet (60 m) high above the surrounding plain. Its name is derived from the tall, straight sides that resemble the palisades of a fort. The region of Fort Rock Basin contains about 40 such tuff rings and maars and is located in the Brothers Fault Zone of central Oregon’s Great Basin. William Sullivan, an early settler in the area, named Fort Rock in 1873 while searching for lost cattle.
Here is the cave I mentioned. We saw this from the highway so I don’t know if there is more than one but I kind of think there might be. No trails here that we could see. I’m not a climber but I bet the cave would be fascinating up close.
This last one I took from the car. There’s nothing like the open road!
Lava Butte is a cinder cone located in central Oregon, , between the towns of Bend, Oregon, and Sunriver, Oregon.
It is part of a system of small cinder cones on the northwest flank of Newberry Volcano, a massive shield volcano which rises to the southeast. The cinder cone is capped by a crater which extends about 60 feet (20 m) deep beneath its south rim, and 160 feet (50 m) deep from the 5,020-foot (1,530 m) summit on its north side. Lava Butte is part of the Newberry National Volcanic Monument.
If your like me I didn’t know what a shield volcano is, here is what I found.
A shield volcano is a type of volcano usually built almost entirely of fluid magma flows. They are named for their large size and low profile, resembling a warrior’s shield lying on the ground. This is caused by the highly fluid lava they erupt, which travels farther than lava erupted from stratovolcanoes. This results in the steady accumulation of broad sheets of lava, building up the shield volcano’s distinctive form. The shape of shield volcanoes is due to the low-viscosity magma of their mafic lava.