Monday, October 18 – We headed out early this morning for our day of sightseeing. First stop was the Wigwam Hotel on Historic Route 66. This unique find is a motel where you can stay in Indian Tee Pees. They even go so far as to have antique cars parked out front of most of the Tepees. NEAT!
Our next stop was the Petrified Forest National Park. This is another one of those “must see” places. We watched the movie and toured the grounds of the Visitor's Center last evening, so we headed straight to our first hike – Long Logs and Agate House.
It was 2.6 miles among an immense collection of petrified wood. We took tons of pictures of the thousands and thousands of pieces of petrified wood.
Petrified Wood is formed when wood from primeval forests became buried by thick layers of sediments, usually after being washed away by flooded streams. Over eons of time, each wood fiber was replace by tiny crystals of silica, in the form of agate. Often, this agate is colored by minerals like iron oxide, producing a rainbow of hues, such as the petrified wood found near Holbrook, AZ. Petrified Wood is the official State Fossil of Arizona. It is 180,000,000 years old.
We should note that it is a Federal Offense to pick-up or remove any of the petrified rock. It is frequently posted that it is a minimum $375 fine with possible imprisonment for taking the rocks. You are subject to search and must stop your car when leaving to permit a check-out. Both times leaving the park, we were only asked if we collected any rocks. We were not searched (we don't fit the profile).
There was also an ancient pueblo, Agate House, built out of petrified wood. We really enjoyed this hike. There were only two other people along the trail, so we pretty much had the area to ourselves.
Next we jumped in the car and continued along the 25 miles of roadway through the Park visiting every pull-out. A very beautiful drive.
Our next hike was down to the canyon floor at Blue Mesa trail.
This one mile trail is rated as strenuous, but we found it delightful and only got a little winded climbing back up the trail on the way out. This trail was mostly asphalt surface, which made keeping on the designated trail pretty easy.
We really enjoyed the stop at Puerco Pueblo. Puerco Pueblo was one-story complex of approximately 100 rooms surrounding a central plaza. At this stop we were accompanied by two Park Rangers. One was a “workamper” volunteer. We had a group of six people at the beginning (interestingly all from our home state of Ohio). We were joined by at least six more as we walked the trail. These rangers did an excellent job explaining the ancient pueblo ruins and telling why they settled here, what there daily life was like, and why they left the area over 1000 years ago.
This is a picture of a Kiva…a room used by modern Puebloans for religious rituals. It had a roof, and it was only used by men.
This area has so many different landscapes. Pictures cannot do it justice!
At one of our stops, we were greeted by this fellow.
He is a Raven and a big one at that.
Paul tried to be friends, he kept moving away.
If you would like to see more pictures of the Petrified Forest, please click here.
We then transitioned into the Painted Desert portion of the park. What amazing colors. The park circles a canyon containing the colorful desert.
There are about a dozen pull-outs featuring different aspects of the desert. Our favorite stop was the historical Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark. The building was constructed between 1937 and 1940 using portions of walls left over from an earlier lodge on the site that dated from the 'twenties. The stone walls of the building are more than two feet thick. On the exterior the walls are finished with a pink, earth-toned stucco. This former Inn has been restored to it's early glory. What a beautiful adobe style building in an awesome setting overlooking the Painted Desert. We could just imagine what it was like to enjoy a dinner in the lounge or a drink on one of the several patios. Beautiful!
Original bar stool
After returning home, we took Bella (our cat) for a walk. She just loves her walks. Paul kept his eyes open searching the ground and did find two pieces of petrified rock. It's legal to remove rock found on private ground. We kept the smaller piece (golf ball size) because it was prettier and replaced the larger baseball sized piece.
We spent some time visiting with our neighbors, Jeff and Sheryl, full-timers from Grants Pass, OR. They began full timing this past February. The evening was cooling off and starting to get dark so we exchanged calling cards and wished them a great day tomorrow. They will be visiting the places we did today. We'll both be here tomorrow, so we'll probably see them then.
Tuesday, Oct 19 – We took a drive to Winslow, AZ to stand on the corner. This corner is made famous by the musical group – The Eagles in “Take It Easy.” It was a neat experience and actually quite a few people were present taking pictures, shopping in the souvenir shop and just smiling and having a good time. A Fun Time!!!
TAKE IT EASY….by the Eagles
Well, I’m a standing on a corner
In Winslow, Arizona
And such a fine sight to see
It’s a girl, my lord
In a flatbed Ford
Slowin’ down to take a look at me
Cute main street.
We also visited the Winslow City Park that has a huge Indian carving and some examples from the historic Santa Fe Railroad.
This still appears an active RR area. We watched as a l o n g train of tanks and other military hardware passed by. A sign of the times, I guess.
You can see a few more pictures here.
On our way back to Holbrook and our RV Park, stopped at Bubba's Big Pig Bar-Ba-Que in Holbrook.
We read about this on the Internet and one of our friends (can't remember which one) recommended eating here. So whoever it was, thank-you! The food was delicious.
We then came home for some relaxation time. Tomorrow is travel day.
Thanks for stopping by. Hope you visit again real soon. Have a great day!