The Pertified Forest

October 2, 2012

We left Truth or Consequences sometime after 9:00.  It was a big breakfast day, with Dad’s favorite of hashbrowns, bacon, egg over medium, rye toast, and coffee.  I used the little George Foreman to make the bacon, and it was perfect – crisp, and not burned!  The biggest bonus – no grease everywhere, and it didn’t need my attention.  So, we ate and said goodbye to the best rv park view of the trip.

Today, we headed north on Hwy 25 to Los Lunas, NM, took Hwy 6 (actually – Route 66)  to Hwy 40, and then 40 to Holbrook, Arizona.  Our ultimate goal is to go to the Grand Canyon tomorrow.  My wish today, as on many days was to stop somewhere to shop.  I failed to pack enough clothes for hot weather.  By the time I got around to clothes packing, I was tired and ready to be done.  I also happened to be on the phone with Kailin, and we talked about the dangers of trying to pack while chatting.  So, I am suffering the consequences of my own actions.  It has been, as we say, a “natural consequence.”   I am beginning to get desperate for some cooler clothes.  “Recycling” is not going well for me.

Today’s drive took us through the Navaho and Hopi Indian Reservation.  It was beautiful country, but possibly the worst land for sustaining life, in any form.  A curious and unfortunate state of affairs for a people who populated this country first – that is, before the people who put them on these reservations.  I was really looking forward to driving on the infamous “Route 66.”  Unfortunately, at least on this part of the highway, most of the nostalgic buildings and signs of the past are gone.

The destination of the day was the Petrified Forest National Monument, in Arizona.  Thanks to Dad’s “Golden Age Pass” we didn’t have to pay an entrance fee; one more thing to look forward to when I reach 65.  This national monument, as is the case with many national parks and monuments, has a road to drive through with numerous pull-off spots.  The views were breathtaking – wide vistas with beautiful red rolling mound-like features.

Petroglyphs (look really closely and you will see them)

We saw petroglyphs from afar, painted dessert, and, of course, the Petrified Forest.

All those very small “dots” are pieces of petrified wood

Painted Desert

The “forest” consists of many, many, downed coniferous trees, millions of years old, and preserved for eternity, remnants of a changed climate.  It is hard to imagine that the dry and barren landscape was once a very tropical ecosystem.  The park was established in the early 1900”s due to the out-cry of people who wanted the looting and pillaging of the area’s natural features to stop.

We spent the night at the first “KOA Kampground.”  I was promised really good Internet by the park manager.  It didn’t happen.  As I have not been able to post my blogs or check email in two days, this camper wasn’t happy.  I complained to this same manager, who told me that there was no problem.  I complained to my driver, who called the Internet provider, Tengo.  They concurred and said there was a problem, and they would re-set the system.  This gave us about 20 minutes of marginally stable Internet.  Damn.

Dinner was hamburgers and fresh tomatoes.  We have had several days of beans, burritos and Maria’s tamales.  I should clarify this.  Craig and I have had, perhaps too many days of Mexican-influenced food.  It was time for a more, shall I say, neutral diet.

After briefly watching “Dancing with the Stars,”  Dad went to bed, leaving Craig and Wiley to finish their before-bedtime-nap.  I fought with the very unstable Internet connection and called it an early night.

Miles driven:  382 miles

Today’s gas price:  $ 3.669

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