Friday, February 3, 2017

Casa Grande Ruins with Terry and Marianna

 Saturday afternoon I left Terry and Marianna at the hotel and headed back to  Casa Grande for the night.  

 (Dusk in the Cracker Barrel Parking Lot)

Please read this posting to the very end.

On Sunday morning they drove to meet me for breakfast at Cracker Barrel then we headed to Casa Grande Ruins for the afternoon.

(Casa Grande, Spanish for Great House)

It doesn't look all that impressive until you spot the 'little people' standing around it.

Casa Grande Ruins are one component of a much larger settlement that existed for centuries. 
It was built over 700 years ago.  

In the early 1900s, deterioration of the ruins became so severe that a roof was built to protect it from the rains.

This walled compound was just one community of a network of communities that were built along canal systems.  The Gila River Valley (the expanse of desert midway between Tucson and Phoenix) 1000 years ago would have been filled with dozens of villages with wide, irrigated fields.

This water vessel was found in tact among the ruins.

In the 1700s and 1800s, only a trickle of travelers came by the Great House.  First came Spanish explorers and then Mexican and American Travelers.  All wondered who built it or why.  

The railroad brought more visitors and during the late 1800s the tourists scratched their names into the walls.  Some took away artifacts, even pieces of the walls, as souvenirs.

In 1889 Congress voted to protect Casa Grande Ruins from further vandalism and looting.  Debris was cleared, the eroded foundation was repaired, wooden beams and metal rods were installed to brace up the walls.  

In 1894 the Federal government made Casa Grande the nation's first archeological preserve.


 Farming societies in many parts of the ancient world worked out ways to track the seasons.  The 
Casa Grande has features that can be used to accurately mark the time of year.
Each year around the twenty-first of June, the setting sun peers into the Great House through a hole in the upper left of the west facing wall.  This event, called the Summer Solstice, marks the longest day of the year.

Twice a year, the morning sunlight passes through a pair of holes located in opposite walls of the uppermost room of the Casa Grande.  These events mark the midpoint positions of the sun as it moves along its north-south path.  The Vernal Equinox occurs in March, and the Autumnal Equinox arrives in September.  The holes are part of a system of 'alignments' incorporated into the Casa Grande that helped the Hohokam keep track of time.

I like this photo because that is Terry on the other side of the building looking through the window.

No one alive now knows what name the people who built the Casa Grande called themselves centuries ago.  Archeologists today use the term HOHOKAM to label the culture that flourished here from 1500 years to 550 years ago.  

Six tribes in today's Southwest still have histories that link themselves to the people who once lived here.  For these tribes, Casa Grande Ruins is a sacred place.

Marianna had not been feeling well from before Christmas and she was still not feeling her best on this day.  
They returned home to Hawaii on Monday and Marianna went to her doctor to "Run a few tests."

The following is taken from her blog, "Hattie's Web" that was posted on Jan. 28th...

"Well, it's lung cancer.  What I am grateful for is that I have lived my life. I am in good hands and will get the best treatment possible. I am surrounded by people who care about me.  No bucket lists: Been there,  done that. No great sins to repent of. No regrets over lost loves; those I love are with me now."
Henry James:
“Live all you can; it's a mistake not to. It doesn't so much matter what you do in particular so long as you have your life. If you haven't had that what have you had? … I haven’t done so enough before—and now I'm too old; too old at any rate for what I see. … What one loses one loses; make no mistake about that. … Still, we have the illusion of freedom; therefore don't be, like me, without the memory of that illusion. I was either, at the right time, too stupid or too intelligent to have it; I don’t quite know which. Of course at present I'm a case of reaction against the mistake. … Do what you like so long as you don't make my mistake. For it was a mistake. Live!”
Get out there and live your life!!! 

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful!
    Mary came over yesterday. I gave her your present. Terry and I were so glad to see her. Friends like you and her are the best.