Friday, April 9, 2010

The oddest national park site I've ever been to...

Alien Landing?, originally uploaded by Cocoabiscuit.
Casa Grande National Monument* is what's left of the ruins of a Hohokam village from about the 14th century. It is rumored to be the largest prehistoric (our history at least) building in North America. "Discovered" by Spanish explorers in the late 17th century and again by American archeologists in the late 19th century. Graffiti from several centuries of adventurers is carved on its walls (and it is now illegal to add your signature). In 1932, someone decided that it needed a roof to protect it from the elements, despite having survived 7 centuries without one. The roof is termed a "Ramada" and was built by the Civilian Construction Corps. It sits on a one mile square parcel of land set aside by presidential decree in the town of Coolidge, Arizona. (The town of Casa Grande is some miles east.) The structure is visible from miles as you approach the town.

This shot was with a Nikon D70, converted for infrared, f16, 1/320 sec, 45 mm.
*National parks are by act of Congress, while national monuments are by presidential executive order.

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