Benfield's 2013 Travels travel blog


















On our way back to Las Vegas, NV from Albuquerque and the spectacular Balloon Fiesta, we stopped at Meteor Crater RV Park. We'd stayed here on our way to Albuquerque as it's about halfway between there and Las Vegas and the choices for campgrounds is mighty slim. It is a nice park and they have lots of pull-through sites to accommodate over-night visitors.

Fortunately, we arrived early enough to take the short drive to Meteor Crater Natural Landmark. It is billed as "the best preserved and first proven meteorite impact site on earth." There is a nice Visitor Center with lots of displays and information about the site and easy access to the walkways and overlooks around the crater's edge.

The story of Meteor Crater began half a billion years ago with a large rock perhaps 150 feet across hurtling through space. It impacted with earth about 50,000 years ago travelling in excess of 26,000 miles per hour and resulting in a spectacular collision leaving a mile-wide, 550-foot deep crater in the middle of the Arizona desert. The site has been preserved by the land owners through the years - probably because the land isn't useful for anything. The terrain of the crater so closely resembles that of the moon that NASA used the site for training Apollo astronauts. Information learned at the site has provided scientists the keys to unlock the secrets of how our solar system and universe were formed.

We spent about an hour touring the site beginning in the Visitors Center. There we found informational displays about the formation of the crater and simulation videos of the meteor's impact. Then we went out onto the walkways along the north rim where there are several viewing platforms. As usual, we took plenty of pictures of the crater and the surrounding desert.

After visiting the gift shop, we headed back to the RV park for the night. Tomorrow we should arrive back at Road Runner RV Park in Las Vegas just in time for our appointment at Camping World Monday morning.

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