Friday, June 5, 2009

Day 3: Meteor Crater, Painted Desert and Petrified Forest

I got up early on Wednesday and made myself some breakfast. That SnowPeak stove boiled water in no time flat (thanks Dave) and the freeze-dried scrambled eggs from Mountain House were surprisingly good.

Since I was camped within a few yards of it, I walked down old Route 66 for a ways. Guess it's just dirt in that part of the world. What was it before I-40 came along? Nobody seemed to know at the RV park.
I headed up to the crater. I did the 1 hr hike around the rim, to get the 'best 3D shot' of the crater. All I really ended up with was a bad shot of me from a bad angle (sorry Eduardo) and a sunbunrt nose. D-oh. But the crater is AMAZING. It's something you see in books and never imagine you'll get to see in real life. It's so immense that your eyes play tricks on you. There was an old rusty BBQ stove discarded in the center of the least that's what it looked like...turns out it was a fuel container 15 feet long. It really is just huge.



I did get to touch a big chunk of what was left of the friend Kevin reminded me that it is amazing you can touch something that came from the asteroid belt.

On the way out, I passed thru Windslow, Arizona. Which my twitter friends had reminded me was I naturally had to stop and get this shot.

I backtracked a bit so I could see the Petrified Forest. I arrived at the entrance to the park and after a brief chat with a few other bikers about the lack of anything but 85 octane nearby, I felt like I might not make it out of the park. I figured, oh well, maybe I'll spend the night there. ;) Actually, I just drove the speed limit of 45mph...the F800GS will get 75MPG at that speed. The painted desert came first, followed by the stony trees. img_0844.jpg
There was a pretty neat stone bridge called "Agate Bridge", formed when a petrified tree fell and then a river washed out underneath it.
The Petrified Forest looks like somebody just came in to cut up trees. But they're hundreds of thousands of years old and now made of stone. So neat. Look how the outside looks like tree but the inside looks like rock. All my childhood science books were right!

I headed south down the 180 towards Eager...with the goal of reaching the VLA just at dusk. I had hoped to take some really neat pictures as the sun set. But the 45MPH speeds and stopping so often thru the painted desert slowed me down. I kicked it into high gear as the sun was going down.
The roads seemed to stretch on forever.
It got really pretty as the sun went down.
After an hour or so of driving in dark and passing about 15 signs to watch out for Elk, I decided I would call it a day. I stopped at a little Motel/Cafe in Quemado about 9PM MT. They were supposed to have wifi but I couldn't make it work...weak signal in my room. D-oh. No cell service of any kind either...even the wired phone couldn't dial out. I think that Quemado is the furthest out in the stix I've ever been. And I liked it. :)


Blogger David said...

glad the stove is working for you! This trip looks pretty awesome. I'm looking forward to seeing all the pictures! Have fun and be safe!


June 7, 2009 9:39 PM  
Blogger Jim said...


Great to see that the "adventure" is continuing. I am one of the bikers you met in the petrified forest.

We finished Route 66 to St. Louis yesterday. Time to get my "land legs" again.....

The vastness of the West is amazing! Keep posting photos.

Good to see that the Beemer is serving you well.

Enjoying your journal!

Jim (St. Louis, MO)

June 8, 2009 6:53 AM  

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