Crater floor background
First off, this was the windiest day ever! It was blowing at a constant 35 mph (56 kph) with gusts up to 70 mph (113 kph). The sand felt like glass when it hit our skin. Our first stop was the Petrified Forest National Park. Not only did we see petrified trees from ancient times, but we saw breathtaking views of the Painted Desert and Badlands. This was some of the most beautiful scenery we had ever seen. We spent 4 hours in the 50,000 plus acres of National Park and got lots of great shots of the landscape. After the park, we headed to the Meteor Crater. On the way there, we saw a truck with a big rv-type camper on it's bed almost go on two wheels due to the strong cross winds. It was kind of cool. So, Meteor Crater kind of blew chunks. It was way too expensive to be worth it, but since we were there, we paid to see it.
Walnut Canyon ancient living quarters
The crater itself was decent, but we missed the movie and presentation. The wind blew us around alot so that made it very interesting. To make up for the Meteor Crater debacle, we went to Walnut Canyon. It was another beautiful site. One of the trails was closed due to strong winds, but the island trail, which takes you down into the canyon, was open. In the trail we saw old Native Amercian pueblo settlements cut out of the side of the canyon amongst other things. With the afternoon rush hour approaching, we headed to Flagstaff
for the night. We shacked up at the Hotel Monte Vista, a restored hotel in downtown that was built in 1927. Our room was called the Spencer Tracy room b/c he used to stay here while filming movies in the area. The place was nice, except for what I can only guess was a homeless person sleeping in the corner of the laundry room when I tried to get my clothes out of the dryer. We had dinner at a lovely Italian restaurant called Pesto Brothers Piazza and then headed back to the room to polish off some bottles of wine. Tomorrow we're off to the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam and Vegas baby!