We started the day with danish and juice at The Lodge, then packed up and headed out. But before we left Winslow, AZ, we took a couple more pictures:
Shortly after 11 am we reached Meteor Crater. For a big hole in the ground, it is a pretty impressive hole in the ground.
At Meteor Crater we ran into a couple of fans, part of the Xerps crowd. They're meandering back home to Mississippi the same way we're meandering back to Baltimore. It was great to see them.
We then continued on to the Petrified Forest (which, for reasons entirely too obscure to explain, we referred to as "The Petrified Ferret"), where we used our National Parks Pass to enter. The Petrified Ferret was amazing and fascinating: unlike the Grand Canyon or the Badlands, it was not grandly and immediately impressive, but in a subtle way, every bit as magnificent. Thousands of pieces of petrified wood lie across a landscape that resembles the Badlands; these trees were alive 230 million years ago, when all the continents were joined together. Over the millions of years they have turned to stone, but they look like trees. How often do you get to see trees that grew in Pangaea?
Thomas in particular was fascinated by the Petrified Ferret -- he took nearly 150 pictures. Here are a couple of them:
We were sure glad that we had decided to go to the Petrified Ferret, and not the Putrefied Ferret.
Part of Petrified Ferret National Park is the Painted Desert, so we stopped there as well. It was spectacular, although we visited during a rainstorm.
After leaving the Park, we stopped at the Chieftain Restaurant in Ganado, AZ. Don had chicken noodle soup, roast beef with gravy, fries, garlic toast, and corn. Thomas had a cheese enchilada, refried beans, rice, tortilla, chips-and-salsa, and navajo frybread. Both had apple pie and vanilla ice cream for dessert. Don, who doesn't like surrendering tableware, finished the meal with three spoons, two knives, and a fork.
About 7:00 pm we crossed over into New Mexico, where it became 8:00 pm. Arizona doesn't do the whole Daylight Savings Time nonsense, so it was on Mountain Standard Time, which was the same as Pacific Daylight Time. New Mexico is on Mountain Daylight Time.
One good thing about driving east instead of west: in the evening, we don't have the sun in our eyes.
Anyway, at 8:48 pm we stopped at the Continental Divide.
We stopped to take a picture. Don's family has two similar pictures of Don and his brother standing at the Continental Divide, one taken when he was 7 and another when he was 11.
At the same time, we stole an idea from our friend John Hackman, and fulfilled every male's dream by peeing at the Continental Divide, so half went into the Atlantic and half into the Pacific. Not everyone has peed in two oceans simultaneously....
Very late, we reached Albuquerque, and got a room at the Comfort Inn.
Tomorrow, we hope to have lunch with Malu Gawthrop, a dear friend of Don's from high school. And then, ever eastward.