We decided that today would be a good day to leave Arizona and head for our next stop. We started a little later than we would normally have liked, which kind of changed our plans for the day. After leaving Scottsdale, we headed towards Colorado, with a few stops in between. The thing about Arizona is that there are only two major roads in the state, so we ended up having to backtrack to Flagstaff, and then out to New Mexico. Our first stop was to Meteor Crater (that's where the title comes from). It is in Winslow, Arizona (made popular by the Eagles' song, "Take It Easy"), which is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Everywhere you look around you, it is flat. As you drive, you can tell where this hole is because it kicked up some of the earth. So, in the middle of flat land, there are hills, with the hole on the other side of them. The hole is ginormous! It's about a mile wide and 500 feet deep. There are points of interest, such as the rock the size of a house and the astronaut in the middle of the hole (they used to train astronauts here because it was supposed to mimic the moon). There was a lightning storm in the distance, which was neat, and luckily we were there before they closed it due to the weather.
We continued along I-40 (the one route east and west), and went to the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert. Also, in the middle of nowhere. We weren't exactly sure what was supposed to be there, but we went anyway. It was totally worth it, though. The first part was the Petrified Forest. When you enter the park, you expect a 'forest', but it is far from that. There are no big trees standing up. There is a ton of petrified wood, which is is wood with quartz and other minerals. If you look at it from afar, it looks like a regular log, but when you look closely, it is obviously rock and mineral. There are also "tepees", which are huge rock formations that have multiple-colored rocks. The layers are all different colors. They also have a large collection of petroglyphs, which were interesting, too.
Like all of the parks we've been to, it took us longer than expected to drive through. We continue on through the Arizona desert and into New Mexico. There's not much in between. We stopped to refuel ourselves at Starbucks and continued on. We were able to see the sunset, but it was behind us. Luckily, since the sun was set, we didn't have to see everything, or nothing. Since it was so late, we weren't able to go to the Four Corners tonight. We were looking to get it done tonight, and not have to worry about it tomorrow. Now, we have our first stop tomorrow. Around 10:00, we made it to our campground. We were able to set our tent up in 10 minutes (new record), before it started to rain. Now, it's time to go to bed to wake up nice and early tomorrow morning!
(Annie and Tyler- Thanks for everything, guys! We appreciate everything. It was great to see you guys again! Annie- Robyn was not very happy with you and your sneaky ways...)
States Visited: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho,Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming (19/50)