Friday, February 16, 2018

Leaving Las Vegas

This is my last posting of pix from our Christmas in Vegas trip. The scenery sure changed going west to east as winter made an appearance. These are all "drive-by" shots taken with the phone.

On the outskirts of town heading south. I think that's part of Lake Mead to the left.

I liked the silhouette of road signs.

Sun's popping up!

We stopped at the neatest gas station/mini-museum (but I don't remember the name or where it was). I didn't take my phone or camera inside coz I wasn't expecting to find anything of interest. They had a big ol' room of vintage doo-dads - nearly every object ever made between 1940-70, including cars & motorcycles. Definitely an "All-American" place, complete with Nativity scene placed next to the flagpole and bucking bronco in the background The location of the sign struck me funny.

Then we started seeing signs of winter.

 Farm in the distance.

Entering windmill land!

Not sure where this was, but it was frostier and foggier. Nature's special effects.

I'm probably posting too many of these, but I just loved seeing the windmills rising up thru the fog. It was really eerie.

There was one image I wasn't able to capture - windmills in the background, a row of cotton bales, each covered in a different colored plastic, foggy and heavy frost on the ground. Wish we could've pulled off the road. That one was worth a real camera shot!

Last one. We're about an hour away from home when I took this one.

Got to spend Christmas with my kiddos, take a road trip, see some beautiful sights, and spend a bunch of time with my best guy. This was one of my favorite road trips!

Friday, February 9, 2018

Petrified Forest

One of my good friends & I like to play a game of "virtual vacation." When one of us is on a roadtrip, we text back & forth where we are, pictures, etc. On our way to Nevada, she asked if we were stopping at the Petrified Forest.

To be honest, my only goal was to get to Las Vegas to see my loved ones at Christmas and I didn't research points of interest along the way. I had no idea it was on our route. Well, of course I wanted to see it! I remember my 4th grade teacher, who was quite a traveler, telling stories about it.

I envisioned that we were going to actually drive through some ancient forest of gigantic tall trees frozen in time. However, I fell asleep and when I woke up, I said "oh no, I missed it!"  Hubby said, "I never saw it. We didn't go through any kind of forest."

Duh. It's not part of I-40. Just a short exit off, though. So we planned a detour on the way home and here are some pictures!

(By the way, this is NOT me sleeping. Just some random tourist soaking in some ancient tree vibes.) 

Basically, the petrified forest is acres & acres of strange land with thousands of petrified logs scattered across it.

I mean, they are Every. Where. Hubby joked that he didn't believe this was all petrified wood. He said it's fake logs they painted and then artfully scattered across the landscape.

This girl was either trying hard to get some signal or taking a picture after her hike.

The Visitor Center above, and a dinosaur replication below.

Anything you see in these photos that look like, um, maybe dinosaur droppings, are actually petrified logs and pieces.

I love these particular shots with those interesting formations and the moon above.

This isn't a crow. It would fan out it's neck feathers & make a strange call. It's mate was nearby.

We could see almost the entire train in the distance.

 And then we went over a bridge and I got one of my favorite shots.


Getting near the Painted Desert. It's something that is probably best seen at sunset or in the summer.

The Painted Desert loops north of the forest and is at the edge of the Grand Canyon. But it was back on the road for us and heading home!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Meteor Crater, AZ

No, this is not statement on the current state of affairs in America :) It's just a little statue in the Visitor Center at Meteor Crater.

 On our way to Nevada, I saw a sign along the highway "Meteor Crater .5 miles." I told hubby, "it's only half a mile away - we need to stop!" Well, the exit was 1/2 a mile, then it was another 6 miles and $32 to the crater. But hey, it might be the only time we would ever see an actual giant hole in the ground caused by an extraterrestial object.

This is supposedly a piece of the asteroid. 

From Wikipedia: Meteor Crater is about 3,900 ft in diameter, some 560 ft deep, and is surrounded by a rim that rises 148 ft above the surrounding plains. The center of the crater is filled with 690–790 ft of rubble lying above crater bedrock

There's just no way to really impart the  size of this hole unless you get an aerial shot. See the circle in the center of the above picture? There's a cutout of a 6' tall astronaut there to give you some perspective. How do I know this? A telescope & info sign on the rim walkway.

People walking along the rim.

 Artsy shot. Can't help myself.

Above - stairs to a lookout spot. Below - the very nice visitor center, filled with tons of info that we didn't have time to read (but did a quick scan).

A view of the highway between the visitor center & the interstate.

 And because I like sparkly things, some crystals in the gift shop.

Not a crystal. Hubby goofing off.

Neat how they framed the mountain in the distance with a cutout window in the courtyard wall. Across from it is something from one of the Apollo craft.

And we're back on the road again!