|I am so glad that we opted to see these national monuments as they are so different from the Ponderosa forest we are in around Flagstaff. Sunset Crater was created in an eruption that lasted up to 150 years - recently in 1050 (estimated). The Indians who lived at the crater had enough understanding to evacuate with most of their belongings however there were corn imprints in some of the lava as well as some pottery. So this is a fairly new mountain and a good lava field was the first thing we saw as we drove in. Soil and stone was red in color, some vegetation had taken hold but due to the desert environment not a whole lot has changed. The eruption affected a large area and the people moved NW to the area of Wupatki to take advantage of the volcanic ash from the eruption but to escape the rocks and lava flowing from the crater. Wupatki is a pueblo built into the rock cliffs and included 100 rooms, a ceremonial circle and a large ball field. It was cool, clouds were gathering and the wind was very strong as we walked out to the Pueblo. Being on top of the mesa this area is windy, the park ranger said in the spring the winds are much more extreme, I was happy to have my jacket. Afterwards we drove some of route 66 in Flagstaff and became part of a major traffic jam, one of the streets had flooded due to rain. We finally backtracked and got to the campground that had experienced some rain also. We heard later on the news there was hail in Flagstaff, thankfully we were able to avoid all that.