Sunday, July 13, 2008

Day 7 Summer Vacation 2008

Today is Day 7 Sunday July 13, 2008.

Today we have a full day of sightseeing planned. Starting with the Meteor Crater, then the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest. All are within an hour drive East of Flagstaff. We started off with Meteor Crater.

There is a great deal of information about the Meteor Crater on Wikipedia but basically this is a crater that was formed by a meteor slamming into the Arizona Desert. Here are a couple of the photos that I took while we were there.

This is an actual piece of the meteor.

We then moved along to The Painted Desert and The Petrified Forest, they are combined together into one National Park, and have a very nice self directed driving tour road throughout, just follow the signs and get out at the lookouts. Each lookout is well marked and often there is signage containing historical significance or general information.

The painted desert sure lived up to its name. I have never seen topography or so much colour in the land and the rocks as I have seen here. The pictures do not do it justice, because the landscape is constantly changing colour before your eyes, as the sun and the clouds play over the land. Every time you look at something, it is a different shade, or hue, or intensity of colour. Look again and it has changed slightly or drastically. Check out Wikipedia for more in depth information about The Painted Desert.

Here are a few of my photos.

Here is a VIDEO that I took of the Painted Desert

Back in it's day, Route 66 used to pass straight through the Painted Desert. Although the road is nothing but a dirt trail now and not drivable, you can still see evidence of the old road by following the hydro poles as they lead off towards the horizon.

At this spot there is a small roadside monument erected to mark where the original Route 66 was as it passed through this area. You can see the transport trucks on I-40 in the distance.

A few more of the more spectacular photos of the Painted Desert.

From here following the road, we came into the Petrified Forest part of the park. We were not sure what to expect... What is a petrified forest? We were expecting to see standing trees, a forest, that had somehow turned to rock, so we were surprised by what we did see. No standing trees, but bits and pieces of trees and tree trunks scattered across the landscape. To learn more about The Petrified Forest, you can click on this Wikipedia link

An up close photo of a chunk of petrified wood

As we were leaving the park, a summer storm was setting up on the horizon.

To see all of my photos from today you can visit my Flickr Site.

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