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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Road Trip, Day 5 (Pt. 2); Meteor Crater and More

From Petrified Forest Nat'l Park we went to lunch in Holbrook, then on to Winslow, AZ, where there was such a fine sight to see (my apologies to The Eagles.) Meteor Crater is the best-preserved impact crater on the planet. I'd been here before, but the camera I was using at the time wasn't working. Regardless, the place has certainly changed in 15 years! Not the crater so much, but the museum, viewing platforms, cost, Subway franchise, etc.

This wall in the courtyard outside reminded me of a Pink Floyd album cover. The mountain beyond is Humphrey's Peak. At 12,637 feet in elevation, the highest point in Arizona.

A test capsule from the old days of training astronauts at this site for the Apollo missions. I had to touch it.

The American Astronaut Wall of Fame, a lovely tribute, including astronaut names and the missions they served on.

The Holsinger Meteorite, the largest chunk recovered from the meteor that created the crater. Click for a larger view to read the inscription on the panel.

Inside the museum there's a wall set up for photos since you're not allowed to go down into the crater...

...unless you're a geologist. If there's any doubt as to the keenly, eagle-eyed abilities of my preternatural husband, Charles, this should end the debate. Against the vastness of Meteor Crater, where large boulders look like pebbles, these people were but mere dots in the jumbled landscape, but somehow Charles picked them out of the chaos. This photo was taken with my 300mm zoom lens fully extended. We pointed them out to other visitors, some of whom clearly doubted our sanity or thought we were pulling their legs, but I submit to you clear proof that my husband is hardly the decrepit old man he claims to be!

Because of the relatively featureless landscape, getting good photos to show the scale of the crater are difficult, at best.

The crater is about 4000' in diameter and about 570' deep. The rim rises about 150' above the surrounding plains. This image is actually 3 different photos stitched together and still doesn't really do the job.

Even this shot of Charles on a viewing platform pales in comparison to the experience of being there. I may not be able to fully convey the massive scope of the sight, but it will always hold a special place in my heart, nonetheless.

By 5pm we'd arrived in Sedona, AZ, where we got a room at the Best Western Arroyo Roble (2010's "Best of the West" hotel winner.) After stays in some not-very-nice places, this was a refreshing treat.

The view from our room.

We wandered around a bit, then had dinner at Open Range Grill and Tavern. Just down the street, views were similar to those from our room, but through much larger windows. We capped things off with the best cheesecake either of us have ever eaten. Afterwards, we sat on the flower-filled patio outside our room and enjoyed a lovely sunset.

After an eventful day, it was a wonderful change of pace.

Coming up, day 6; Sedona.

In recent art news, my Bull Snake (from Bosque del Apache NWR,) was "Daily Nature Photo" on The Nature Conservancy's website on Jun. 30th and my Horseshoe Bend (coming up in a future post,) made Nature Photo of the Week on The Nature Conservancy's blog as of yesterday.


Charles Gramlich said...

One of our best days on what was a trip of best days. Loved the drive into Sedona.

Sphinx Ink said...

Wow, impressive and awesome. Makes me wish I could see it in person. Great photos, as usual. I'm enjoying your travelogue so much, day by day! Thanks.

Kate Sterling said...

Oh, I LOVE Sedona - it's one of my favorite places. Thanks for posting the travel stories and photos - it's relaxing. :)

Lana Gramlich said...

Charles; Agreed. It was so beautiful driving down into town. Loved to be there with you. :)

Sphinx Ink; No, thank YOU! :) If you get the opportunity, I'd definitely give it a look. They also give guided hikes, have educational movies and a really cool gift shop!

Kate; You're welcome--glad you're enjoying. There wasn't a whole lot of R&R on this vacation, but that evening sitting on the patio was a true gem. :)

eileeninmd said...

Cool pic's! The crater is neat looking. Love the views and sunset from your hotel. Sedonia looks like a beautiful place.

Rico Swaff said...

That crater is crazy-cool. Sounds silly, but I have never heard of that before.

That pic does look like a Pink Floyd album cover. said...

Hi Lana,
The view from your room was amazing. --Its my favorite shot you posted in that set.

NatureFootstep said...

how nice to be reminded. :)
I´ve been there once long ago. Sadly I don´t have that many shots from those palces as it was in the negative film days. :)

Kelly said...

"Another Brick in The Wall" for those not know the Pink Floyd song reference. These pictures were beautiful and breathtaking. I can just imagine actually being there to try to take all of the scenery in. I've been to Arizona and have seen the Indian cliff dwellings and Phoenix and the Grand Canyon but you've show me and everyone else here a plethora of great places to check out. would very much like to check out that Crater area.

I especially love the sunset over the mountains pic at the bottom. Great shots, as always, Lana.

Wren said...

Meteor Crater is fun - do they still have the inflatable little green man near the entrance?

Pink Floyd is a good thought for that window, too.

Lana Gramlich said...

eileeninmd; Thanks. Yes, Sedona's quite lovely!

Rico Swaff; You should check it out sometime! It's in our own country!; Thanks. We loved it, too. :)

NatureFootstep; Yeah, I was glad to have working cameras this time, myself!

Kelly; Thanks. :) I love the Colorado Plateau. Just SO much to see! You should try to hit up Meteor Crater sometime--it's way cool!

Wren; more green man. They're too big now for little green men, I think...ironically.

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