Monday, May 29, 2017

Meteor Crater

Location: Homolovi State Park (el. 5,000 ft); Winslow, Arizona

All pictures taken with Nokia Lumia Icon 929 Cell Phone

Meteor Crater
It is the crater left from a meteorite that hit this area about 50,000 years ago. It hit the earth going about 26,000 miles per hour and created an impact equal to about 20 million tons of TNT. Notice all of the "abouts" up there. It's because a lot of it is pure guess work and estimations. There isn't a doubt that a meteor hit this location, but everything else is estimated. Wind and rain erosion changes the lanscape of many places in just a couple of decades. But this crater has been around for 50,000 years? Really? It is the best preserved and the first confirmed meteor crater in the world. 

Meteor Crater is something that has been on my list of things to see for a long time. Well, I've seen it.

I don't know if I've become jaded about seeing things like this or not. I used to enjoy them as "wow" moments. The last couple of things have been "not so much wow". Maybe I've just seen so much that I've gotten used to it all. Maybe it's the commercialization of the crater. It is privately owned and I'm sure they are making a tidy profit. You would think if Devils Tower made the ranking to be a National Monument, which it deserves, then Meteor Crater would also. There seems to be a double standard. I believe both should be on the list but the 4,900 square miles of Ocean that became a National Monument a few years ago should be looked at again.

Tomorrow is moving day. I'm near Flagstaff and as I mentioned in one of my previous posts, it would be a decision point for me. I would decide to continue westward or turn north. I decided to turn north and head to a town called Page, Arizona. I'm hoping to go to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon while I'm there, but we will see. I will be there for at least 3 days. It too will be a decision point as I'll need to decide northwest or northeast from there.
Sunset in the campground. One of the campers have a high flying American Flag which is nice, especially for this weekend.
Not only on this Memorial Day, but everyday, please remember all of the fallen service men and women who have given their all for their country. 

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.  


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Painted Desert, Petrified Forest and Petroglyphs (mostly pictures)

Location: Homolovi State Park (el 5,000 ft); Winslow, Arizona

Pictures taken with Nokia Lumia Icon 929 cell phone AND Nikon D5100 (see if you can tell the difference)
Click pictures to enlarge.

If it seems like a gap in posting, you're correct. The last place I stopped was at Sun Valley RV Park which had no WiFi and my Verizon Data connection kept cycling between nothing and 4LTE. It was so unreliable I couldn't stay connected long enough to make a post. That is now only the third place where I couldn't get online through my Verizon. Those other two were Seminole Canyon State Park in West Texas and the town of Junction in Central Texas. All in all, pretty good odds since I've stayed in about 170 or so campgrounds (I need to count those up again) in the last three years. Anyway, I left Albuquerque with the intention of writing up the Albuquerque post in Sun Valley. 
I passed over the Continental Divide
(elevation 7,200 feet) between 

Albuquerque and Sun Valley.

Typical countryside between
along I-40 near Arizona/New Mexico

My campsite at Sun Valley RV Park.
The road in front of Freedom is a portion
of old U.S. Route 66
Campsite at Homolovi State Park near
Winslow, Arizona

But as with the "best laid plans of mice and men", that didn't work out. It doesn't matter now since there were more interesting sights at the Petrified Forest National Park. 
It is called the Petrified Forest National Park but should be called the Painted Desert National Park since it has more to see than the petrified trees. The park is a 28 mile scenic drive with several pull outs for picture taking and stuff. I saw RV's and U-haul Trucks on the road. I spent about a half a day in the park and saw many things. It was a good day.
Entrance to the park. Notice the clock
on the wall in the far left, center.
It was an old style clock and was
needed to let everyone know Arizona
is on Pacific Time.

Painted Desert. The different minerals
cause the different colors. I have seen
this in Oregon, Michigan and South

More Painted Desert


More Desert

Observation Point but no bench :(

Almost to the end of the Painted Desert


Mountains in the distant

Getting close to the end. Remember
click the picture to enlarge them.

The sky helped with show during the
last part of the drive

It looked like snow in places.

Nice one

The tree added some contrast

Some Petroglyphs

More glyphs

No one knows what they mean,
but some do look like aliens.

This is the Puerco Pueblo ruins. 

They date back to about the year 1300.
As a point of reference it would have been
at the end of the last crusade and about
100 after the Magna Carta.

There were about 100 rooms like the
ones in this picture. The Pueblo housed
200 to 300 people.

Bench Mark found from 1934
Finally some petrified logs. The logs sank in a shallow sea about 200 million years ago and were buried in sediments.

The organic material of the tree was replaced
with silica from volcanic ash and over time became
like quartz.

Just as with the Painted Desert, different
minerals mixed in the groundwater caused
different colors.

This private entrepreneur is located just outside
of the park limits. He leases land adjacent to
the park and digs up trees to sell. A guy in town
told me he does a lot of business. 

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Amarillo to Albuquerque

Location: High Desert RV Park (el 5,700 ft); Albuquerque, New Mexico

all pictures taken with Nokia Lumia Icon 929 Cell Phone
click pictures to enlarge

This post is mainly about the 280 mile trip between Amarillo, Texas and Albuquerque, New Mexico. I never turned the radio on and just listened to the "road music". As it was during the last moving day, today was again an uphill trip with a total elevation gain of about 2,000 feet. Traffic was light since there were no big cities to pass through. It was just watching the landscape change and letting my thoughts wander. 

I will be here for 3 days (see, I'm staying longer in places). There are a couple of things I plan to explore here and will post about them later. The remainder of this post is just pictures of the trip.
Of all the states I've been to, New Mexico has the best Welcoming Sign.

Just a tree that seems to have had a rough life. Very few of them along this stretch of road.

The sun wasn't right for this picture, but I'm posting it anyway. This house was the only one for miles. It made me wonder if children were being raised there. I've posted about this before and will just leave it there. 

The sky was blue and the road was clear. Can't ask for much more than that when traveling.

You could see that highest hill for miles before reaching it. I'm sure pioneers, cowboys and Indians used it to navigate around this otherwise flat terrain.

The flat mesa's are back. Maybe on this trip I'll get an answer to why they are flat. I've heard several reasons, but none have made me say, "Oh, Ok, I understand".

The road falling off into one of the wide valleys. 

The clouds started banking up for a while and it looked like a rain may be in store. But it held off and patches of blue shined through.

Breast cancer awareness overpass. I looked for other overpasses with Diabetes or Stroke awareness, maybe heart disease awareness but didn't see any others. It doesn't mean they don't exist, just that I didn't see any. Should public property, such as this overpass, be used for messages like this? If so, who controls the messages? Will the state eventually begin to rent this space to private companies? Maybe an Amazon or Coors Beer overpass is in the future.

I liked this picture because of the blue sky with white clouds

I put this picture in here for two reasons: One to show the long downhill western approach to Albuquerque. The second to show the two brightly painted 18 wheelers. I've noticed more of them lately. I like the idea. It adds something to the trip.

Campsite at High Desert RV Park. It's a pretty good park. About a 6 on a scale of 10.

This was driving back into town after getting set up.

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Palo Duro Canyon

Location: Oasis RV Park (el 3,750 ft); Amarillo, Texas

Pictures taken with Nokia Lumia Icon 929 Cell Phone and Nikon D5100 fancy Camera
Click pictures to enlarge
Current Leg of 2017

The storms and tornadoes that I missed during the day, came back during the night. Luckily though it was just thunderstorms and wind. They rocked Liberty but I slept through most of it. I did wake up to a bright bolt of lightening followed quickly by a loud clap of thunder. Whew, that was a close one. I laid awake for a little while waiting for the next one before dozing off back to sleep. It seemed just as I went to sleep I heard an electronic "chirp" that woke me up again. It was only once so I figured I was either dreaming or it had something to do with the nearby lightening strike. Concerned the nearby lightening may have affected something inside Liberty, I again stayed awake, listening to the rain on the roof and trying to hear that electronic "chirp" again. No chirp, so off to sleep again. I had wanted to get an early start so I woke up around 7:00, took a shower and started getting things stowed away and tied down inside Liberty. Just as I started to go outside to do the outside work and hitch up, another loud clap of thunder caught my attention. It was another close one. I thought, "that can't be right, all the storms were supposed to have passed on to the northeast". Just as I finished that thought, the wind picked up, large rain started falling and that dang "chirp" sounded again. I caught it this time and knew it was coming from my smoke detector. It's strange it only sounded after nearby lightening strikes. I changed the battery anyhow and no more chirping. The wind was some of the strongest I've felt in a very long time and it was hitting me broadside on my large slide. I have never felt the need to bring my slide in no matter how bad the weather has gotten in the past. But, since I already had everything put away and tied down, I hit the button and brought the big one in. Just as I got it in, another strong gust hit. Nothing to do now but wait. I sat on the stairs and watched the weather on my phone. About 1 1/2 hours later, the rain stopped and the wind dropped in speed to where I could hitch up. I made short work of it so I could move on west and try to get behind this cold front that was creating these storms. Fifteen minutes later I was rolling down I-40 heading west. 
Oasis RV Park, Amarillo, TX

The temperature continued to drop during the 240 mile drive to Amarillo. The entire drive was uphill as I gain about a half a mile in elevation. By the time I got to the campground, the temperature was 55 degrees with about a 10 to 15 mile per hour breeze. Not exactly shorts and t-shirt weather, but it wasn't bad enough for me to put on long pants. I stayed at this campground about a year ago but man what a difference a year makes. Last year, the campground was way less than half full but yesterday when I arrived, it looked almost full. I didn't have reservations because I thought I wouldn't need them but when I asked if they had a site for a two night stay, she "nope, we're all full". I put on my sad looking face, which I've learned from my granddaughter, and asked if they knew of any other campground in the area that might have vacancies. Well, one look at that sad face, and she said "let me see what I can do about getting you in here". She started shifting people around and finally said, "yep, I have a site for you for two nights". I asked if anything was going on in town to bring so many people to the campground. She said they have steadily been having more and more people every day for the last year. Nothing special, just more people. That got me to thinking that I better start making some reservations for on down the road. I paid the lady and left a happy man. After getting Liberty set up, I just sat down and rested. I was plumb wore out (for the Yankees, that means "very tired").
Typical country in the Texas Panhandle
After a good night sleep with one of my heaters running on medium, I woke up to a temperature in Liberty of 55 degrees. I quickly turned my other heater on high and crawled back in bed for another hour. Once it warmed up a little inside, I got a shower and hit the door. I was headed to Palo Duro Canyon. I was there last year and was so impressed, I decided to see it again since it was only about 30 minutes from the campground. It was as good this time as it was last time. I won't go into the history of the canyon since I covered that last year. If you're interested, you can find it and more pictures here >>>

Some of today's pictures were taken at the same spot in the canyon.

A Roadrunner enjoying a meal

Tomorrow is moving day as I head further west. Next stop will be just to the west of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.