Sunday, September 21, 2008

More Arizona Adventures

Yesterday, we started our excursions with Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, followed by Wupatki National Monument afterwards. You pay admission to one and you get to go to the other one too. Sunset Crater Volcano was pretty interesting. The volcano had erupted maybe a thousand years ago, but because of the dry climate, the particulates from the volcano have not really been broken down very much. You can see a lot of ash particles, as well as large rocky chunks of lava. At Wupatki National Monument, there are a bunch of pueblos from roughly 800 years ago. It was interesting to see these structures, and to try to imagine how the people lived at that time. Apparently they meticulously collected rainwater, and watered these gardens that they placed in small patches of fertile soil around the area.

After that we continued north, stopping at the Cameron Trading Post for lunch. They have a restaurant there that serves Navajo dishes, and we each ordered a Navajo taco -- a piece of Navajo fry bread with beans, beef, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and chilies on top. They were so enormous that neither of us could eat more than half a taco, so we got take-out boxes and saved our leftovers for dinner.

Jeff had heard about some dinosaur tracks near Tuba City, so we went up there and were shown around by a very inebriated guide. He managed to remember where the tracks were, and could almost pronounce the dinosaur names, despite his impaired state.

After that we drove on some back roads and made our way to Winslow, where we stayed the night in anticipation of today's destinations: the meteor crater and the Petrified Forest.

After an uncomfortable night in a hotel room that was mislabeled as a non-smoking hotel room, we drove to the meteor crater. It was really interesting to look at that crater and think about how a small (relatively speaking) projectile made such a big crater. Then we went to the Petrified Forest National Park. It was really interesting to see all the petrified logs there. Some of them looked like regular logs, with believable coloring and still-visible ring formations, but others were mottled with reds, oranges, purple, and a blue hue that matched the sky. In some places, we saw a lot of petrified shards lying on the ground, and it looked as if that area had been mulched with wood chips.

Then, we made our way to Sedona, where we are right now. In the morning, we'll head out and see some of the beautiful sites around here before heading back to Las Vegas, where I have a hotel reserved for us for tomorrow night and the next night. It will be one full day in Vegas before we fly back east on Wednesday!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you are having a great trip.