Feel the impact!

Holbrook Travel Blog

 › entry 2 of 27 › view all entries
Meteor Crater in Winslow, AZ. No matter what vantage point I assumed, these pictures do not indicate its vast size.
DAY 1 (6/25/08)
Long Beach, CA to Holbrook, AZ
7:30pm / 90∞ / slightly breezy and clear skies

A quick note about the headings you’ll see throughout my blogging – If you notice, I’ve given you some brief statistics about where I am and what the weather is like. I learned this from my grandma who, for all 86 of her years, contacted you one of three ways: in person, by an actual phone call, or through a handwritten letter. Her letters always included information about what the weather was like on her trip or even just at home – a notation I assume she picked up growing up on a farm in South Dakota where weather could make or break a seasons’ harvest. She also saved every paper sack, re-washed Ziploc’s and aluminum foil, and thoroughly read every piece of junk mail – this reporting on the weather is the life skill I’ve chosen to adopt.
People are on the platform in the lower right corner. This helps indicate how huge it is.
But I digress, today was Day 1 and a productive day it was.

Leaving Long Beach today at a prompt 6:30am, we quickly found out that when you’re HEADING to the Inland Empire, you don’t hit much traffic as those leaving the Inland Empire and we were pleasantly surprised. The day began with virtually no snags, probably a first for us in our many years of long-distance travel. Then, as we were getting on I-15, I asked,

“Did we bring stuff to do laundry?”

“Um, whoops, no.” my mom responded.

Fortunately, there will be a variety of fine retail establishments throughout the south. Then we get on I-40, and I ask,

“Did we remember the folding step ladder we just bought?”

“Um, whoops, no.” my dad responded.

Dang, we actually bought that just for this trip.
Sweaty, road-weary me.
Well, we probably won’t need it.

Then I remembered – “I left my deodorant at home. Whoops. Well, the only sufferers are my parents.” And, there are many fine retail establishments across the U.S.

As we progressed through the unattractive California desert, I began to think, “Is it all going to be brown and grey?” And before I could figure out an answer, I was blinded by an angel from heaven:

“Unleaded: $3.89/gal.”

We had JUST left California and already we’re saving money! I thought I should stop and buy a house in Arizona to further increase my savings, but decided the savings in gas was more than enough so we pulled off the highway and topped off. It’s odd that paying $3.89/gallon was exciting, but it certainly was! Coincidentally, we were at the Pilot gas station RV Island filling up next to a carbon copy of our own motorhome. The family there was traveling from Pennsylvania to California for a Disneyland-Yosemite adventure. I’ll skip the prior and stay in with the latter, but that’s just me. They informed us that they were shocked by the rising gas prices. At home in Penn., they were paying $3.40-$3.60/gallon. They also told us that the farther east we traveled the cheaper it was going to get – music to our ears.

The further we traveled into Arizona, I realized that the desert is not all the grey and brown drab colors of California. The Arizona desert is actually quite beautiful – and green! Lush ground cover stretched every direction, and it was all a vibrant shade of green. As we continued, the elevation began to increase and by late afternoon we were in Flagstaff, AZ. Flagstaff, a mountain-desert town, is one of those places that upon first look, I think I could handle living there. Rusitc, wild-west and southwest appeal abound. The main street/business loop is interlocking pavers and the buildings look like Main St., USA. It even snows in the winter – I will be returning to Flagstaff some time.

As our day neared its conclusion, we saw the sign for Winslow – home of the world’s largest meteor crater (and referenced in The Eagles “Take It Easy”)! If you’ve seen the movie Starman with Jeff Bridges and Karen Allen, the crater is the site where Jeff Bridges – an alien – is picked up by the mother ship at the films’ conclusion. So, we took the 6 mile detour to look at this natural wonder. A sign suggested tuning in to 1610 AM for information, so we tune in. I am immediately startled by the raspy “MoviePhone” male voice exclaiming, “Feel the impact!!” Apparently, the crater’s theme is “Feel the Impact!!” He also informed us that you can get a Subway sandwich with free cookies after your visit to the crater. Feel the impact…

The crater is huge. It is beyond my description (photos to arrive later … to see the impact). From the crater rim, everything looks normal – vast, but normal. Then you peer through the affixed telescopes and one is pointed at a 6-foot tall mock-up of an astronaut. Stepping away from the telescope, you realize that you cannot see any part of this 6’ man at the center of the crater. One rock is singled out by the telescope as being the size of a large 2-story home … it looks like a rock you’d find in a backyard garden. Feel the impact…

The northern Arizona landscape is not barren, bland or ugly – but is quite beautiful and tranquil … until you come across the Arizona Public Health Dept.’s billboard campaign:

“Meth Kills … your teeth and gums.”

As if the fact that it might actually kill YOU wasn’t enough, the State of Arizona has decided it needs to play into the vanity inherent in us all - even drug addicts. To really drive their message home on the billboard, the Health Dept. has used a very convincing photo of the decayed mouth of an actual meth addict. Use meth? Lose your teeth. Feel the impact…

Despite the very unattractive public health billboards, today was a good day. Lots of family conversation, only 2 wrong turns, and the hottest it ever got was a manageable 113. Now, with 578 miles under my belt, a dinner of steamed brussell sprouts and hot wings in me, and it being 9pm – I am off to bed. Until tomorrow!

Feel the impact…

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Meteor Crater in Winslow, AZ.  No …
Meteor Crater in Winslow, AZ. No…
People are on the platform in the …
People are on the platform in the…
Sweaty, road-weary me.
Sweaty, road-weary me.
photo by: rebecca_gzwy