|There are many beautiful and interesting places to see in the Sedona area and one of the days found us taking a drive northeast of Flagstaff to the Wupatki Sunset Crater Volcano Nat'l Monument which is a cinder cone crater. There are hundreds of small volcanoes that erupted in the area over 6000 years ago. However the Sunset Volcano erupted just 900 years ago and the cinders it spewed are still so deep in some areas there is still nothing growing in those areas. There are several lava fields and cinder fields close to the highway and the cinders are black and pea size, the lava is shades of burgundy, purple and black. Before the Sunset Volcano erupted there were several groups of people that lived in the area and their pueblos are still partially intact. Geologists feel that the Sunset Volcano so devastated the area that the villagers vacated the area due to the devastation of the landscape leaving them no food to eat and no way to grow crops. The eastern edge of the national monument borders the Painted Desert. While we were only able to see it from a distance, is one of Mother Nature's most beautiful pictures you will ever see. It is 160 miles long and gets its name for the multitude of colors ranging from lavenders to shades of gray with vibrant colors of red, orange and pink. It is a long expanse of badland hills and buttes and although barren, it is a beautiful landscape of a rainbow of colors. The photos can't begin to capture the colors. It is a painter's dream!