Published: May 12th 2012May 12th 2012
Tuesday, May 1st
Happy May Day, Y’all! Blue, clear skies and 64 degrees. Fool Hollow State Park near Show Low, Arizona.
Started off the morning by cleaning up Rosie inside and out as each camp spot here had a concrete pad to park on instead of the usual gravel or dirt. There were lots of ground squirrels and chipmunks out running around. Valerie was taking some pictures of the camp spot/lake and swimming along came 3 pairs of Canada Geese. Each pair had one goose in the lead, a row of 6-8 goslings, and then the mate bringing up the rear. All three pairs had this straight row, one behind the other. I hadn’t realized how protective Canada Geese were of their young, until this trip. This is a really nice State Park with wide spaces, in a pretty setting, and very well maintained. Valerie took a picture of the artwork on the concrete wall leading to the bathrooms and showers, which were immaculate.
Left the park and stopped by Safeway [cheaper gas with card we got on our trip to Alaska] to get gas and do a bit of shopping. Headed back into the old part of Show
Low [so named for a poker game between two friends who played to see which man would stay and own the ranch that was not making enough money to support two families]. Valerie took pictures of some bronzes in the center of town before heading up highway 77 toward the town of Holbrook which sits on Interstate 40. Unfortunately, we quickly left the pine trees and were into the desert sage and tumbleweeds.
At lunchtime, we were into the clearly Mormon town of Snowflake. Ready for how it got its name?? Mr. Flake and wives had been setting up Mormon communities along the Little Colorado River and was discussing the hardships of doing so to the visiting Elder by the last name of Snow---and voila! that is how the town got the name. I kid you not. It was on a historical sign. Found some shade in the city park and ate lunch before heading on up the road.
Nothing about the drive to the Petrified Forest National Park along this next piece of road can be recommended by me. Just before the town of Holbrook, we turned southeast on highway 180 to the entrance to the park.
With our senior pass we get into all National Parks free.
We proceeded into the park and stopped at the Visitor’s center. Watched a film about the park and how petrified trees are formed and about the fossils and dinosaur remains that have been found in the park. We then walked around the trail with the trees lying here and there. They had a cross section of one of the trees that had been polished---it was real attractive with the multitude of colors.
With the packet of material that was handed to us at the entrance to the park was a neon green card that asked us to help look for anyone removing rocks from the park. It asked us questions like: who did it?; the license plate of the people who took stuff; where did it happen?; etc. Apparently so many people take “samples” that we lose a ton of rocks per month!!!!
Drove through the park and stopped at all the overlooks. Some interesting formations and colors could be seen. Newspaper Rock had significant petroglyphs. At one point we met 4 young men in a large RV from Belgium. They picked their unit
up in Chicago and were leaving it in San Francisco. They were lossely following Route 66, but they said they were going from “Hooter’s” to “Hooter.s”
The park road goes across interstate 40 and then the old famous Route 66 and right into the Painted Desert National Park. Again we stopped at all the overlooks, at the visitor’s center [which was mainly a small gift shop], bought some ice cream, and dropped onto Interstate 40, going east to Gallup New Mexico. There is no camping in either National Park, so we headed for a commercial RV Park that advertised in the Woodall’s/AAA camping book. This park had a full page ad and we thought from the pictures it would be much better than it was. Oh, well! It had power and water, however, no shade and spaces packed like a parking lot.
There are more photos below