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Published: October 22nd 2012
Painted Desert Inn
This is an historical Inn that is located where the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest meet.
Here we go again....off on new travels that will take us through Arizona and on to New Mexico. Although New Mexico will be our destination, there are still sights to be seen in Arizona.
We left yesterday morning heading out I-303 to I-17 that took us through Flagstaff then to I-40 which is part of the old Route 66. There are still segmats of Route-66, but they are mingled with I-40. Route 66 took one through small town America and along some beautiful scenic routes.
It is fall and you can see it here in the desert. There are actually trees that are changing colors and a cool crispness in the early mornings and evenings. Very pleasant traveling weather.
Our first destination was Meteor Crater. We had heard about it for years and it is so large of a crater that you can actually see it on the map of Arizona.....and large it was! Meteor Crater is located 40 miles East of Flagstaff, Arizona. With the force of a multi-megaton bomb, a speeding nickel-iron Meteorite crashed to Earth nearly 50,000 years ago. Splashing over 175 million tons of rock, the resulting Crater is 4,150 feet in diameter, 550
feet deep and 2.4 miles in circumference. We visited the Visitor Center there and watched a movie about it along with viewing historical information about this crater and others around the world.
Unfortunately we did not take our camera in....what were we thinking. However, you can go to this link and see a great photo of what we saw. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Meteorcrater.jpg
From there we headed on to Winslow, Arizona where we visit La Posada Hotel. This is another architectural creation by Mary Jane Colter. The same architect who created so many notable sights while working for Fred Harvey. She was the architect for El Tovar, Hopi House, Angel Bright Lodge, Hopi Lookout Tower and other notable buildings, at the Grand Canyon and throughout Arizona. If you have not read about her, you might want to check her out. I find her very interesting and have followed her works and life. I will not go on about her in this blog, but here is the link. http://www.laposada.org/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Colter http://www.laposada.org/hotel_history.htm
Again....I have no photos. Didn't take the camera out of the car. We relaxed in the gardens and room full of art throughout the hotel. We
had a simple lunch in the Turquoise Room restaurant. The hotel has a comfortable, estate feel with wonderful SW ambiance. Rich in history. Built in 1929 just before the stock market crash, it was open for 27 years before closing to the public. The Santa Fe Railway purchased and gutted it for office buildings and over the next 40 years it was nearly demolished on several occassions before being purchased in 1995 by a young couple who have been dedicated to restoring and preserving it back to its original splendor.
I find that I am falling in love with the SW, the sunshine, its architecture and graceful deserts. Oh...and I love the Native American jewelry.
We have a room for two nights at the Best Western in Winslow, AZ. Can not find much good to say about this city. Rather deserted, very run down, but we think they were thinking there was going to be a boom in tourism here. The street we are on 'the historical route 66' is lined with large hotels one after the other. They are all empty.
Today was our second day and we visited the Petrified Forest. I brought my camera! See photos below. 225 million years ago this part of the world was a tropical forest. Hard to believe looking at it today. As the earth evolved, the trees that were in that forest fell to the earth and over time were petrified. Sadly to say, the majority of it was vandilized, stolen and commercially sold during the early 1900's. Hard to believe, but it is still a problem today with more that one ton stolen every month. The National Park starts where the Painted Desert ends. The colors there are striking. The driving trail for this Petrified Forest is 26 miles long and there are numerous spots to stop and explore. What is there is interesting. You can see fallen trees that still look like trees, but they feel just like rocks. Also, the landscape looks like what one might imagine the moon to look like. The mesas throughout are beautiful with layers of various colored stone. We had a relaxing drive through this beautiful desert.
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