Another cold morning greeted us, 31°. Walmart beckoned for a few items forgotten, bicycle tires aired, and we continued to “settle in” for the long haul. Needing some outdoor activity, several routes were driven in an attempt to find Casa Grande Mountain Park (a city park) in order to hike one of its several trails; no such luck as every route seemed to end with a dead end, flooded road, or never never land.
We opted to tour Casa Grande Ruins National Monument from which Casa Grande gets its name. The national monument consists of the ruins of multiple adobe structures surrounded by a compound wall constructed by the ancient people of the Hohokam period. These people farmed the Gila Valley in the early 13th century. Evidence strongly suggests that the ancient Sonoran Desert people who built the Casa Grande Also developed wide-scale irrigation farming and trade routes which lasted over a thousand years until about 1450 C.E. Casa Grande, aka the “big house”, refer to the largest structure on the site, which is what remains of of a four-story structure thought to have been abandoned by 1450. The large house consists of outer rooms, three stories high, surrounding an inner structure, four stories high.
While the ruins were impressive, so were the cacti surrounding the compound—a photographer’s haven.