Casa Grande Ruins National Monument in Arizona (#11/419)

Welcome to Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. This is unit number 11 on our journey to visit all National Park units. Let’s go and explore! Casa Grande is a four-story high building that was built 700 years ago by the ancient Sonoran Desert people. A hundred years after has Casa Grande was built it was abandoned. Scientists still don’t know exactly why. It might have been a war, might have been drought or might have been floods, It was first discovered about 200 years ago by Kino who was a priest who came to the area and he documented his findings. In 1892, Casa Grande was designated as an official archaeological preserve, recognized by the federal government and that did give it some protection. Unfortunately, it was such a popular tourist attraction that the the vandalism continued. There’s a lot of names written in there now, and in 1918 it was made into the first archaeological National Monument by the Department of the Interior. Today it’s well protected. You can see the roof above that structure. That’s actually the second roof that was put on there. The first was a wooden and metal structure that didn’t last very long and was replaced by this structure in the 1930s. Which means actually that roof structure is now considered a historical artifact as well. Today Casa Grande is the only remaining multi-story structure from the Hohokam culture period. Hohokam refers to the culture and people from 300 to 1500 AD around Gila and Lower Salt River drainages in the Phoenix Basin. It does not refer to any particular tribes. The walls of the structure are made out of caliche which is a type of clay that can be found two to three feet underground in this area and has calcite deposits in it. We also discovered that it’s almost built within a couple degrees of true North, South, East, West. Which is a Mesoamerica thing, I mean a lot of cultures did that. How they achieve that I guess with a stick and the sun, I don’t know. The only place where you could actually see handprints of these prehistoric people… this is going to be tough in this light…. but about a foot above my fingertip is the heel of a palm. The Ancient Sonoran Desert people that lived here, they were farmers. They built irrigation systems to get the water from the Gila River to down here. So exploring here at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument only took us a couple hours. We did the ranger tour, we enjoyed that; we learnt a lot about the building here. We also looked around the Visitor Center inside – some good museum exhibits, I think, and just some stuff in there with some some good information. And we also saw a movie that was 20 minutes long and I think that was worth seeing. Yeah, I think we found another historical relic in there. The the VCR in there that was playing the movie: quite impressive. But the movie itself was actually pretty good. I think it’s newer than the the VCR would would suggest. It was pretty easy to get here. We brought in our RV on the way from one boondocking spot to the next and they even had RV parking. Yeah, parking was dead easy out front; it worked really nicely. But the the National Monument itself in here is pretty small. It’s just a fairly small plaza that you walk around. You can see it behind us here in the background. We’ve really enjoyed our time here though, and we’re looking forward to moving on and to exploring the next place. Hope you’ve enjoyed it too and we’ll see you next time. Make sure to subscribe and we’ll see you then! Made of a clay adobe containing a lot of…. not ceviche, that’s the shrimps. What’s it called? Caliche.
Caliche. Thanks for watching. Really? That’s it?


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