Our 1996 Trip Across the USA Page 17
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A note on Photographs - All of us are taking pictures - I'll do my best to give photo credits with an initial, but if I miss one be sure to let me know! J = Jon, D = Don, A = Anne & C = Carol. You can usually tell Anne's - her camera puts the date on the image! Also, most of the images are scans of old & faded prints, so the quality may not be all that hot.

July 9 - Petrified Forest & Homolovi Ruins State Park, AZ (203mi)

After the storms of last night today turned out to be perfect for a visit to the Petrified Desert National Park. The Petrified Forest Road runs between I40 & US180. There is awe inspiring scenery throughout the park as well as many examples of petrified rock. We stopped often along the 27 mile road for pictures & just to look. At one point a crow (or maybe a raven - I'm not sure how to tell the difference) decided to model for us. I got most him on a fly by.

The Painted Desert (A)
The Painted Desert (D)
The Painted Desert (D)
A Crow (J)
The Painted Desert (J)
Petrified Log Bridge (J)
The Painted Desert (D)
The Painted Desert (J)
Petrified Rock (J)

After driving through the park we continued on to Homolovi Ruins State Park near Winslow, AZ. This appears to be a brand new park - everything looks unused. We started out as the only people in the park but as the day wore on a few more families stopped in. We are in Sites 14 & 11. Started out next to each other, but discovered man eating ants as we set up out tent. The park is really designed for campers rather than tents - gravel pads & some very mean ants in most of the sites. There are also signs suggesting you watch out for rattlesnakes & scorpions. Hmm - exactly how do you "watch out" for them? Makes you wish there was a little more height to the floor of a tent... It must be the motion detector lights are an Southwest State Park thing - they had them here as well as at Bluewater Lake State Park in New Mexico. I guess they are a good idea. They save electricity, keep down the bugs, and provide more natural lighting for those camped close to the buildings. It does feel a bit strange to have to stick up your hand, foot, or what ever & wave to turn them back on.

July 10, Meteor Crater & Jacobs Lake, AZ (245mi)

We spent much of the morning checking out the digs at Homolovi Ruins. There are trails to many of the digs in the park. Many were active, most of the work done by volunteers supervised by archaeologists.

Don & Anne at Site 14
A Homolovi Dig (A)
A Homolovi Dig (D)
Jon, Carol, Anne, & Don (A)
Pottery Shards (A)
Don & Jon at a Dig (A)

After checking out the digs, we headed out to Meteor Crater. I don't know why anyone would pay $8.00 to look a a big hole in the ground, but we did. Actually, it is an awfully big hole in the ground. There is a bit of an exhibit & the story of the "Apollo astronauts training site from 1963 through 1970 as a result of Meteor Crater's moonlike surface," but basically, it is just a big round hole.

From there, we continued on I 40 to US 89 & headed north to the Grand Canyon. I suppose we could have stopped at both sides, but even though they are only 12 miles apart as the crow flies, we aren't crows. By road it is a 5 hour 215 mile trip from the South Rim to the North Rim. Since the North Rim is about 1000' higher (that is also spelled "cooler") and Carol & I have already seen the South Rim, we headed North. US 89 & US 89A are must see roads. Photos don't do the color of the Vermillion Cliffs justice. We stopped at a house built around a rock. Nothing special, but it looks a bit strange. We stopped for the night at Jacobs Lake National Forest Campground, Site D41. It is a primitive campground meaning no showers, pit toilets, no electrics, etc but nestled among the pine trees it is a lovely way to spend an evening. On top of everything, it is actually cold! I think it went below 50 degrees overnight. We are slowly beginning to realize that the middle of the summer is probably not the best time to visit the southwest, particularly in a van without AC! At least tonight we are comfortable.

Navaho Bridge
Meteor Crater (J)
Navajo Bridge, Colorado River US 89A (A)
Vermillion Cliffs, US 89(A)
The Rock House (J)
A Balanced Rock (J)
Jacobs Lake National Forest (J)


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Last Update: March 21, 2012