2009 Alaska travel blog

Crystal Forest Campground - Site 5

One of the Teepees at Crystal Forest Campground

A shot of the San Mateo Mountains as we are coming down...

One of the formations we passed on the way to Gallup, NM

The high desert in western New Mexico

Arizona Welcome Station

Doris at one of he stops on the trail around the rim...

Formations called Teepees in the Painted Desert

The Painted Desert Inn

The Mothership and Libby in front of the Painted Desert Inn

Painted Desert 1

Painted Desert 2

Painted Desert 3

Painted Desert 4

Painted Desert 5

Painted Desert 6

Painted Desert 7

Painted Desert 8

Painted Desert 9

Painted Desert 10

Painted Desert 11

Painted Desert 12

Painted Desert 13

At least 40-50 mph winds

Petrified Forest - Old Faithful

Petrified Forest 1

Petrified Forest 2

Petrified Forest 3

Petrified Forest 4

Petrified Forest 5

Petrified Forest 6

Petrified Forest 7

Petrified Forest - Logs are found even at the base of these...

Petrified Forest - Many logs all over the mesa

Petrified Forest - Old Faithful

Petrified Forest - Blue Mesa 1

Petrified Forest - Blue Mesa 2

Petrified Forest - Blue Mesa 3

Petrified Forest - Blue Mesa 4

Petrified Forest - Blue Mesa 5 - notice logs at bottom of...

Petrified Forest - Blue Mesa 6

Petrified Forest - Blue Mesa 7

We left early on Tuesday so that we would reach the Petrified Forest National Park in time to see a little of it before setting up camp. During the trip we crossed the Continental Divide. Sheila, my GPS, indicated we were at 7,244 feet at that point. The Petrified Forest National Park is actually made of of two parts, the Painted Desert in the Northern part and the Petrified Forest in the Southern portion. We visited the Painted Desert on the way in as it crosses I-40 and we were going to camp at the entrance to the Southern part of the park.

If you haven't visited the Painted Desert, you need to make a point of seeing it. I have included several pictures but you just can't show the vastness with a picture. We did have a great time walking the rim trail and seeing the Desert from many different vantage points.

We had to boondock at our campgound. For those of you unaware, that means no hookuos at all, much like parking at a WalMart. We do have decent cell coverage and my little Honda 2000 is supplying electricity when we need it. We had a near full tank of fresh water when we got here as we new it would not be available. The campground is in the parking lot of a gift store/museum. The cost is right though - $0. The site itself is pretty nice though. It has a good picnic table that is covered to shade the sun. Of course the wind is really high so I doubt we will get much use of the table. :-)

Did I say it was windy? We would call this a Category 1 hurricane in Florida!

We walked a few of the Petrified Forest trails today but it wasn't very enjoyable due to the high winds. There were times we could barely walk when headed into the wind. I know it had to be blowing 40-50 mph steady with gusts much worse than that. It was worse than trying to walk forward on the flight deck when planes were launching for those of you that know what I mean. We are sitting in the motorhome now and wondering when it is going to blow over! We brought the slides in to keep the awnings from tearing and reduce some of the noise being generated by the wind.

The Petrified Forest was worth the effort as there were so many petrified logs. They are all over the place, not in just a few concentrated sections of the park. I have included several pictures for you to see. Blue Mesa is part of the park and had some spectacular scenary so I included some shots of it as well.

Tomorrow, Thursday, we had down to Phoenix for a visit with my brother and his wife. That is if the wind allows. I know they close I-40 when the winds get too high so hopefully the wind will subside a little tonight. It has been almost 10 years since we last saw each other so I am anxious to see them. Probably will not be too many pics of the visit as we plan to just visit with each other.

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