Origination: Holbrook AZ
Destination: Grand Canyon, AZ
Stops along the way: Petrified Forest, Meteor Crater, and Sunset Volcano.
As expected the Petrified Forest was another very cool place full of things we've not seen before. Huge tree trunks, yes, seen that, small pieces of petrified wood, yes as well, but not huge petrified and full of so many colors, no, never. Not until now.
We have some pictures with Em in them but unless you have been there you don't understand the scale and how out of place this presented landscape seems. These were amazing. Land of the Lost amazing (the show during my childhood not the movie coming up.) To look around at the bare desert landscape as it is now and picture a swampland lush and wet and then picture these trees reaching upward towards infinity once felled by giant prehistoric beaversaurus' would be deposited deep in the mud layers to be preserved and uncovered over eons for later species to look at in awe.
And it is amazing and it might be kind of silly to say but they really do look like wood, it's uncanny. Again I've not encountered petrified wood this fine having most experience with limestone fossils and wood, this is the diamond to that rough that I grew up with.
Some more pictures
"I think this one says Og luv Ulu"
Once we had done that we went up further in the park to other viewpoints, one agate bridge, and an area that had many petroglyphs. Which was cool but you could only spy them through 3 observation scopes set up high above the rocks. When we walked up there were about 20 people milling about, and some had binoculars, so bring some good ones if you come this way, they will be useful here.
And then some final pictures of the Painted Desert:
We also went to the Meteor Crater Park and museum and got shear
ed. Ok first it's $15 per person which is the highest cost
per person of all the national parks. And then you can no longer go out around the crater and are jumbled with the rest of everyone onto one of two observation areas. There was an entertaining movie about meteors and some interesting displays but worth $15, hmm, no. But it's marked off the list of things to see and that'll do it I suppose. I don't even think we got a t-shirt there.
Don't get me wrong, it's an impressive hole in the ground. And if you take time to schedule the tour with the ranger that includes a trip to the bottom then that would prolly
make this a better visit destination in your vacation. But like most things don't just show up expecting the best visit.
We also stopped at Sunset Volcano which is about an hour Southwest from the grand Canyon on one of the two inroads to the park. Ok this one was neat if you like volcano stuff. There were lava flows all around and some really informative stops along the trail. You can't go up on the rim any longer but that's ok, you get the idea. It was probably one of the more interesting self led tours of stuff, and it was clear and very enjoyable. Not for every Grandma this is good for family fun and explains much about the surrounding landscape and how things on earth were formed.
Here's some pics of the cone and lava flows
And then the final leg to the Canyon!
It seemed to go on forever as our expectations grew. Are we there yet are we there yet! We stopped at the place called Grand View Visitor's Center (we came along the east/west route as opposed to the north/south route.) The intent of going that way was to catch the sunset coming in but we were a little late for it and caught just the last light as we were rolling in. And whoowee the wind was up and it was cooold too.
Here's one of the shots as the sun is fading:
Then we checked into the hotel, Yavapani Lodge, changed clothes, and scurried over to the remaining café open at 9:00 at night. Not bad, tourista prices but not bad food. And then back to the room which was well accommodated and comfortable. And thank goodness for that as we had a plane flight in the morning. Woot!
For now we need sleep, I'll see you tomorrow!
Jim of jimily