2017 Travels travel blog

Entrance to Casa Grande Ruins NM, Coolidge, AZ

The Great House, Casa Grande Ruins, Coolidge, AZ

Our docent at Casa Grande Ruins NM, Coolidge, AZ

We left Chiricahua NM on Christmas Day and drove 182 miles to Coolidge, AZ. We checked into a hotel and ate Christmas supper at the Golden Corral...yep the Golden Corral...and it was packed. The next morning we checked out of the hotel and headed to Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. Set in the Sonoran desert, the national monument preserves the remains of an ancient Hohokam farming village including the Great House. It is believed that the Great House and surrounding village were completed in the 1300s and remained active through the 1400s. The Hohokam people built miles of canals to bring water in from the Gila River to irrigate their crops. By the time Spanish missionaries arrived in 1694 it was an empty shell. The Great House is protected by a steel-and-concrete canopy built in 1932. Broken low walls surrounding the Great House are all that remains of the village. At the visitor center, we purchased a small bag of Ga'ivsa (corse ground cob roasted Pima corn), a bag of S-oam Bavi (brown tepary bean), and a bag of S-totoah Bavi (white tepary bean). These foods were grown and sold by Ramona Farms on the Gila Indian Reservation. We have eaten the corn and it is very good.

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