Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Great

 Apache Junction, AZ   High 84  Low 53  (Perfect)

Jim decided that he just had to get that crud that’s been making the rounds this year. It wasn’t the flu – just a horrible head cold. So for almost two weeks, we haven’t done anything. He hasn’t felt up to fishing so you know he isn’t feeling good.

But on Friday he finally decided to come back into the land of the living. I, of course, had trailer fever so bad I was ready to go anywhere or do anything.

So we headed out to Coolidge.

The Great House

Casa Grande Ruins


Casa Grande Ruins National Monument was the first prehistoric site to be protected by the US government in 1892 by President Benjamin Harrison. One of the largest prehistoric structures ever built in North America, its purpose remains a mystery.

Libby, our guide


Archeologists have discovered evidence that the ancient Sonoran Desert people built the Casa Grande about 1350 and developed wide-scale irrigation farming and extensive trade connections which lasted over a thousand years until about 1450 when the Casa Grande was abandoned.

P1020390These are the tops of the walls of the rooms built around the Casa Grande. With budget restrictions further excavation is very limited.

Since the ancient Sonoran Desert people left no written language behind, written historic accounts of the Casa Grande begin with the journal entries of  Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino when he visited the ruins in 1694.

P1020393The ancient Sonoran Desert people used caliche mud to build these dwellings. It really is interesting to learn how hard they worked to build their homes and their lives.

 During the 1860's through the 1880's more people began to visit the ruins with the arrival of a railroad line twenty miles to the west and a connecting stagecoach route that ran right by the Casa Grande. The resulting damage from souvenir hunting, graffiti and outright vandalism raised serious concerns about the preservation of the Casa Grande and the national monument status was granted.

P1020403 Notice the hole above Jim’s head. The holes – five in the east wall, one in the south, one north, and two west – appear to serve as a primitive seasonal calendar, indicating the spring and autumn equinoxes as well as summer solstice and lunar events. However, researchers can merely speculate what purpose this celestial understanding served for the ancient Sonoran Desert people culture, which flourished about 700 years ago.

Ground squirrels have made the Great House their home.


If you’ve never visited these ruins you need to include them in your travels. These ancient people were able to build amazing structures and understood astronomy. So much we still don’t know or understand.


  1. I know exactly how Jim felt. I got the worst cold I have had in many, many moons. Took 10 days to get over it...yuck!

    How did we miss this place when we were out there? What a wonderful fine.

  2. Glad Jim is feeling better and you got to explore. Will put that on our list. Thanks.

  3. Interesting. We're thinking of spending some time next winter in the Arizona area...we'll add that to the list!

  4. Sadly, we drove by but didn't have the time to stop. Next time we will.

  5. We have both had that cold too....I feel Jim's pain. Glad you didn't get it!

    We will for sure add that to our bucket list. I have to get out the atlas. We are headed back to Tucson in March. Need to find it on the map.Geography is not my strong suit! I always enjoy a day like that. There is so much to see and learn! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Our daughter woke up this morning with that kind of head cold. She feels terrible. Glad Jim is feeling better. Looks like you had a great day of exploring.

  7. Glad Jim is feeling better.
    I agree that folks need to include these ruins in their travels, pretty impressive ruins.

  8. I always stand down there and stare at these ruins in wonderment.. Same way with the Mesa Verde Ruins up in Colorado....

  9. Ya can't keep a good man down or make a good woman sick! So glad Jim is back among the living and you got rid of the cabin fever. It was 89 here in Borrego Springs. Nice breeze that make the 89 feel like 70. Love it.

  10. glad you are both feeling better!..nice to get outside and venture around your neighbourhood!

  11. We've never been to the ruins. We've seen the sign but never stopped there. That'll be a someday thing, I guess.

  12. I'm just glad that Jim is feeling better !!

  13. Im so glad we had the opportunity to vist the Casa Grande Ruins. And I'm also happy Jim is feeling better and you are able to get out of the house. My Joe has that head crud now.

  14. Hey, kids, that's a wonderful place. We've been there several times. If you get a chance, trot on up to Globe, AZ, for a look at Besh-ba-Gowa. It's from the same time period, but quite a lot different, and altogether fascinating.

  15. We've never been either. Wasn't happy about the fee. Thanks for the pictures though, now we don't have to go.

    Sorry Jim was sick.

  16. Glad Jim is better now. Fascinating ruins - another item for the bucket list.

  17. Whatever it is that's going around hangs on for a long time according to the people I know who've had it. Glad Jim is feeling better and you got to go exploring. Interesting place. I missed it while in Arizona, too.

    I smile every time I open your blog and see those four eyes looking back at me. So cute.

  18. We really enjoyed Casa Grande ruins, thanks for the revisit:)


Thanks for visiting today. I look forward to reading your comments. Have a beautiful day.