Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Arizona, 2/28/12, Casa Grande Ruins and St. Anthony Greek Orthodox Monastery

On the Road Again Tuesday Feb. 28

Looks what's in the dumpster!!! Tumbleweeds.

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. This is the Great House built by the Hohokam Indians thought to be finished about 1350. Walls were 4 ft. thick at the base. This has weathered desert heat and summer rain storms. There is a roof over it to conserve it.

The circle opening on the top left would have the sun through the building on summer solstice. The circle on the right was the Lunar Standstill. Every 18.6 years the moonlight would shine through that opening for 2 weeks. Fall and spring equinox the light would come through the other side of the building. Those hole could not be seen.

Logs, saguaro ribs, reeds and caliche mud was used to build the structures. Caliche is concrete like mix of sand, clay and calcium carbonate....that's what the soil was.

One floor was partially below ground.

Saguaro fruit

They harvested Mesquite pods.

Cholla buds. There were 200 plants in the desert that they ate.

A family's dwelling.

They had a ball court and games in the 1100's and 1200's.

Next we visited St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Monastery near Florence, AZ.

St. Anthony Church where daily services are held in Byzantine style.

Very impressive chandelier. There are only 2 electric lights in the chapel.

Virgin of Arizona

Prayer request cards on the shelf.

The Main Courtyard.

St. Nicholas Chapel

Chapel of Gt. George

The architecture is Romanian but all furnishings are from Greece as is all furnishings in the chapels.

Traditional Orthodox cross. Top bar is sign that was placed on the cross, INRI. Second bar is for the hands. The bottom bar for the footrest. The bar is slanted. The thief on the right went to Heaven. The thief on the left went to Hell.

St. Demetrios'' Chapel with the golden dome.

It is a very serene setting.

The outdoor Chapel of St. Seraphim. Truly a beautiful and calming place to visit.

We are staying at Lost Dutchman State Park near Apache Junction, AZ. The campgrounds and RV parks around here are full. Here we are dry camping but at least we have a park to stay in. Talked at three other couples who are dry camping. Great to hear of the adventures of others.

The couple next to us said they hiked up to this mountain top. WOW, really!!! I said.

Location:Collidge and Florence, AZ.

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