Epic Escape Room, Arizona: Einstein07

A place called Epic Escape is in Phoenix, AZ.  They have “Escape Room” games where you have a mission and have to solve clues, to unlock locks, to get more clues to help you solve a problem.  We played the Whimsical Library game.  We didn’t quite make it in the 60 minutes allowed, but we got close.  I think it would be fun to see how adults did against a team of kids.  Sparkle Kitten and I think the kids would win because we work together better than adults.  We are going to go to anther escape room in another city and try a new game.  They have some that are more physical and some that are more mental.  This one was more mental and we had to try to find all the clues we could, and then figure out what the meant.  It was fun!

Montezuma Castle, Arizona: Sparkle Kitten

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The picture above is Montezuma, who was the Emperor of the Aztecs in the early 1500’s  The Aztecs lived in the country that is now Mexico, but traveled to the Southern United States.  The other pictures are where they primarily lived, and what some of their dwellings looked like.  When the Spanish discovered North America, and traveled to the part that is now Mexico, they saw all the gold the Aztecs had; they decided they wanted it.  They defeated the Aztecs and Montezuma and claimed what is now Mexico as their own.  The reason this is important, is while they were traveling North into what is now Arizona, in search of the 7 Lost Cities of Gold, they came across huge cave dwellings 5 stories high

.  They were so impressive they thought they must be Aztec, and so they called them “Montezuma Castle”.  They were wrong; the cave dwellings here were built by Pueblo Indians.  We saw the dwellings near Phoenix, AZ.  They are impressive and near the Beaver Creek which provided water for the community.  It is very peaceful here with lots of native plants. Image result for montezuma castle

Book Review, Since You’ve Been Gone, by: Morgan Matson: Sparkle Kitten

Since You’ve Been Gone has 449 pages and I give it 5/5 Stars.  It was really good, and I read it VERY fast because I couldn’t put it down!  This book is about a girl named Emily.  She has an amazing summer planned with her best friend Sloane when suddenly she just goes missing!  All she leaves behind is a list of crazy things for Emily to do.  At the bottom of the list it says “when you’ve completed this list come and find me and tell me all about it.”  Emily’s summer goes from boring to exciting in just 24 hours.  I liked this book because I could really relate to the character Emily.  I could imagine how amazing my summer would get if that happened to me!

Meteor Crater near Flagstaff, AZ: Einstein07

The best preserved meteor impact site in the world is in Arizona.  It is about 1 mile across, and 2.5 miles around and 500 feet deep.  (the wind today was 40 MPH at the rim!) This meteor hit about 50,000 years ago.  The scientists that studied the rock here found black diamonds that were created through the heat on impact.  NASA sent astronauts here before they went to the moon to study craters so they would know what to look for on the moon.  This meteor exploded on impact sending lots of dirt and debris upward.  The meteor itself melted, and then turned into gas.  What is the difference between a comet, and an asteroid, and a meteor you may ask?  Here is the answer.  A comet is a chunk of ice and gas.  It is a small solar system body that orbits the sun. A comet has a fuzzy “coma” or outline and sometimes a tail.   An asteroid is a small solar system body that orbits the sun.  It is made of rock and metal mostly.  They do not have a fuzzy outline or tail like a comet.  A meteoroid is a small rock or particle of debris in our solar system.  They can be as small as dust to  very large; a meteor is a meteoroid that burns up as it passes through the Earth’s atmosphere.  If you see a shooting star, it IS a meteor.  A meteorite is a meteoroid that survives falling through the Earth’s atmosphere and crashes into Earth.  Image result for meteorMeteor!

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Asteroid.  Especially in the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.  Sometimes pass through earth’s atmosphere.  They are tracked on a “Torino” scale to determine the probability of threat.

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This is a picture of a comet.

The Moors, The Spanish, and a Bell: Einstein07

The reason that you see these pictures above is because once upon a time, a new queen came into Spain. She wanted all the moors (Muslims) out if they were not Catholic. The priest tried to negotiate with the moors. He said,” If you are not Catholic, leave.” The moors had a clear and simple answer,” No,”; they stood their ground. This lead to a great war(but very bloody). This blocked up the Spanish’s routes to trade with India. That is why Christopher Columbus sailed west to find another way to India. That is how the Spanish found out about America. The bell above is from the time of that war. They thought God as angry with them so they all gathered up amulets and precious(and non precious) metals. So they rang that bell and (and probably a coincidence that) they beat the moors. They thought they showed God that they sacrificed something so he helped them.

Bell Recipe

  1. Dig hole in ground in shape of an inverted bell
  2. Line hole with tiles
  3. Melt precious metals and pour into hole
  4. Stick large oak tree center to hollow out bell
  5. Let cool
  6. Enjoy your bell

This how they actually made this bell.

Petroglyph National Monument, Albuquerque, NM: Einstein07

A petroglyph is a carving in stone. Petro comes from the Latin word stone. Glyph comes from the Greek word for carving/etching. So, it would end up being Petroglyph (Stone Carving/Etching). There were five volcanos in this area which created molten rock. Later, the Aztecs, Pueblo Indians, and even the Spanish came here, carving petroglyphs into rocks. The Aztecs did geometrical carvings, the P Indians did animal carvings, and the Spanish did the Cross to signify Catholics. The Spanish wanted to make everyone Catholics but not everybody wanted to be Catholic. At the place, we saw a Jackrabbit. There are many thousand petroglyphs there.


New Mexico Capital City, Santa Fe, Sparkle Kitten

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The State Capitol of New Mexico is in the Northern city of Santa Fe.  This city is at the end of the “Santa Fe Trail”, connecting Independence, MO in the East to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Santa Fe is also almost at the end of the “El Camino Real” the road that connected Mexico City to San Juan Pueblo, NM.  Those are probably two big reason’s it’s the Capital City, even though it isn’t the largest city in NM.  The Capitol is a very interesting shape.  It doesn’t have a “capitol” (or dome).  It’s built in a circular shape just like the Zia Sun Symbol which is the State’s symbol.  It very peaceful in the State Capitol; it has artwork everywhere, it’s colors are calming, and there weren’t a lot of people everywhere.  The state gem is turquoise, and there is turquoise in the exterior door handles.  The outside of the building is in a Pueblo style, which is made using adobe blocks.  It’s a great place to take a nap and look at artwork!

Gila Cliff Dwelers, New Mexico: Sparkle Kitten

Gila (pronounced “Heela” Cliff Dwellings are along the Gila River in the Gila National Forrest.  It takes a very long time to get here; the location is in the far west of New Mexico and high in the mountains.  Once you get to the bottom of the Gila Forest it still takes two hours to go up the winding roads.  We felt carsick at the end!  The Gila Cliff Dwellings were lived in by Native American Indians as far back as 1240 A.D.  There were different groups that lived here.  The longest anyone lived in the caves was about 40 years.  You can see the black smoke on the ceilings from the fires long ago.  You can also see the original adobe walls used to section off the caves, and a few pictographs. The people living here were about 5’2″ tall and very skinny.  They used very narrow walkways between the caves.  They had to carry food and water up to the caves which would have been a lot of work. The Native Americans who lived here were not Pueblo Indians, they were Mogollon’s.  They must have met Pueblo Indians though, because there is one Pueblo “style” door cut into one of the adobe walls (sort of a cross or T shape).  The cliff cave provided safety and shelter for the people.  No one knows why they left, but since they were farmers it is assumed draught made them leave to find better land.  The Gila River runs right by the cliffs.  They aren’t too steep to climb up to, but the rocks are slippery coming down.

Gila Forest Collared Lizard and a lizard on my Hat: Einstein07

This is a picture of a “collared lizard” that we found (actually four of them) in the Gila National Forrest.  The puffed up and tried to intimidate us.  It didn’t work as you can see!  Later I found another smaller lizard with a blue throat.  I was chasing him while he was on a fence.  After a while I leaned down to look for him but couldn’t find him.  He climbed onto my hat when I wasn’t looking.  My mom had to tell me he was sitting on my head!  He was taking a free ride and hiding at the same time.

White Sands of New Mexico National Mounument: SparkleKitten

250 million years ago the Permian Sea covered this area; gypsum formed at the bottom of the sea. “Over millions of years, sea levels rose and fell many times. In times of evaporation, concentrations of calcium and sulfate in the water increased enough to combine and form the mineral gypsum. Thick layers of gypsum were deposited in the sedimentary rocks at the bottom of the sea.”(National Park Service)

Tectonic plates moved and pushed the land into mountains containing gypsum deposits. When it rains it washes the gypsum into Lake Otero. When the lake dries up it leaves behind gypsum crystals; the crystals get blown into sand by the wind. FYI the sand is great for sledding.