Thursday, July 14, 2011

THE Trip, THE GRAND Canyon, Day 3, Tusayan Site and The Watchtower

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

While visiting the Grand Canyon (east side drive) we stopped at the Tusayan Ruin and Museum.  The National Park Service maintains an extremely informative web page on the Tusayan site here.  The Tusayan Ruins is the remnant of a small village that had perhaps 30 inhabitants.  They only lived at the site for about 25 to 30 years in the late 1100's. It was constructed of pueblo, which at this site, is made of limestone blocks held together with mud. The site was excavated in 1930.

The ruins site provides a fascinating glimpse into the history and peoples of the Grand Canyon.  I took a few photos in the museum with low light and no flash, the quality is poor at best.    Outside at the actual site I found this map, I found the organization of the rooms to be interesting.

Below, by the shape and size, appears to be the storage rooms:

And, below, these rooms would appear to be living quarters:

This round area is called a small kiva or ceremonial room.  The signage explained that Kivas were usually built underground, but due to the limestone here in the Grand Canyon that type of construction was not viable.  They signage also claimed that this Kiva burned at some time, it was not rebuilt, but another Kiva was built close by.

Also visited during our drive of the east side of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park was the Watchtower.  The National Park Service has an information page on the Watchtower and Mary Colter here.

The Watchtower was build as a gift shop and rest area at Desert View.  It was designed by architect Mary Colter, finished and opened in 1933.  She personally oversaw the building and placement of just about every stone.  She chose Hopi art to be painted on the interior walls, the artist was Fred Kabotie.

Note high on the walls are also containers, bowls, beautifully painted, the placement on shelves was certainly interesting.

Below, the view from the Watchtower looking east:

And, below, this view is basically looking west, the Colorado River snaking through the Canyon can just be seen in the distance.

As we left the area one of the pull overs we stopped at had this view of the Watchtower (we were looking east to the tower.)

Tomorrow I will finish up our visit to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.


1 comment:

Michelle Goodrum said...

Thanks for the tour of the Watch Tower. We have never been inside and I must say it is stunning.