Trip To Hardin – Day 19

Sedona

This is the grand finale of our trip.  We have wanted to visit Sedona for years and finally we are here.  Today was tourist day.  We stopped at some of the scenic overlooks on the way into town but mostly spent our time on tourist row.  “Indoor hiking” as Cristy calls it.  We bought some gifts for family and continued to take in the magnificent views of the cliffs.  Tomorrow we’ll do some outdoor hiking.  For now, enjoy the photos we took…

And in town I saw this statue which I’m including in homage to the folks I work with at San Joaquin General Hospital.

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More pictures of Red Rock Country tomorrow…

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Trip To Hardin – Day 18

Travel Day

Today was the shortest travel day yet.  Only about an hour.  We traveled from Flagstaff down to Camp Verde, AZ.  After a little up and down hill driving there was a long 5 – 6% grade drive (18 miles) down into the Verde Valley.  We stopped at a scenic overlook prior to tackling the long downgrade.

We are staying at Distant Drums RV Resort.   They were gracious enough to let us arrive before normal check in time and were really helpful in taking us to our spot and guiding me into the back-in spot.

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We don’t have many pictures from today but expect some really good pictures from Sedona tomorrow.

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Trip To Hardin – Day 17

Flagstaff, AZ

Downtown

img_20191007_143929Today we spent the day strolling around downtown Prescott.  We checked out their visitors center which is built into an Amtrak station.  Far more freight trains went past than passenger trains.  The we strolled around the downtown area.  It reminded us very much of San Luis Obispo on the California coast.  Probably because this is a college town just like SLO.  We found a Thai restaurant and ate lunch there.

Lowell Observatory

Afterwards we headed up to Lowell Observatory.  We paid the admission and strolled around the observatory looking at the various buildings and exhibits.  They, like I, very much hold that Pluto is INDEED a planet.  Pluto was discovered at the Lowell Observatory.  Pluto and Mars both fascinated Lowell and there are many Pluto and Mars themes throughout the grounds.  Except for the library, it’s Saturn-themed because Lowell’s wife loved the planet Saturn.  Lowell is entombed onsite.  There is an amazing view of Prescott from his mausoleum.

Then we headed back home, hitting Starbucks on the way.  Our home, our Lance 1995 travel trailer which we have nicknamed, “Little House on the Highway.”

Tomorrow we head down to Sedona, AZ.

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Trip To Hardin – Day 15 and 16

Travel Day – Saturday

This was a good travel day.  It was only an hour and a half drive to our destination in Flagstaff, AZ.  On our way we decided to swing through Winslow so I could see the “Standin’ on the Corner” statue.

Standin’ On The Corner

As we approached the “corner” with our travel trailer in tow we saw that that street was blocked off up ahead.  I found a large gravel lot next to the Winslow Visitor’s Center and parked there.  We walked two blocks to where the road was closed and found they were having a vintage car show and had blocked the streets off.  Lots of really nice restored cars from the 40’s through the 70’s were there.  And eventually we made it to “Standin’ On The Corner”.

 

J and H RV Park

We had lunch in the gravel lot in the trailer and then moved on to Prescott to J & H RV Park.  A really nice little ’55 and over’ park.  It’s quiet and shady and no smoking allowed!  We love that part.  We’ll be here for three nights.

 

 

Lord’s Day – Sunday

This morning we slept in and then I cooked Cristy breakfast.  Scrambled eggs with shallots, onion salt, and Thai lime chile seasoning.  I also fried her some bread in butter on our skillet. After breakfast we went to a local church, Grace Community Church.  Then we went and got coffee at Starbucks, and grocery shopping at Sprouts.  Afterwards we headed back to the trailer and just relaxed for the rest of the afternoon.

Tomorrow, shopping in downtown Flagstaff and whatever else strikes our fancy.

Trip To Hardin – Day 14

Petrified Forest National Park

Today after a slow leisurely morning we drove to the Petrified Forest National Park.  This has been on my bucket list since I was a kid.  I wasn’t expecting much.  Many times you build things up in your head and when you see them in real life they are so much smaller than they thought they would be.  I have to say I wasn’t disappointed.  There are so many petrified trees there.  Plus the park also encompasses part of the painted desert.  It’s about a 30 mile drive through the park and it is so worth it.  There is a lot to learn about the indigenous peoples who lived here, their ruins and petroglyphs still stand today.

Painted Desert

We entered by the north entrance and the first part of the park we came to were the overlooks that give you stunning views of the Painted Desert.

Puerco Pueblo

A little farther along the drive we came to the Puerco Pueblo ruins.  A place first built most probably by the Anasazi people.  Here is what it looked like in its heyday:

And here is what it looks like today…

They also left behind quite a few petroglyphs.  They are not a written language but convey ideas or are symbols of the people who lived here or passed by over the years.

But the showstopper for me was the petrified forest itself.  So many trees knocked down by a huge flood and all came together in a huge logjam and were buried beneath the silt together until minerals from the surrounding earth were absorbed into the wood leaving behind a crystalized ghost of the tree that was.

All in all a wonderful day and wonderful drive through time.  Tomorrow we head to Flagstaff, AZ.

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Trip to Hardin – Day 13

Travel Day

Today we slept in and slowly got the trailer ready to go.  It was a short drive from Grants, NM to Hollbrook, Arizona.  We stopped in at the OK RV Park.  It’s kind of dated but all still in good working order.  Including the park staff.

Not much happened on the way.  The wind was at our backs and we were at the park by 11:30pm.  We decided to use to today to catch up on Internet stuff; email, updating blogs, etc.  Tomorrow we’ll explore the petrified forest and see what else we can find here in Hollbrook.

Trip to Hardin – Day 12

Turnaround decision revisited…

I didn’t get to update the blog yesterday due to lack of Internet.  We had to stay at a KOA in Grants due to there being no room anywhere near Albuquerque because of the balloon festival.  This KOA had very poor WiFi and I can understand why.  We also had poor data reception on our cell phones.  Verizon was showing only a couple of bars of LTE, no 3G or 4G.  So… it was slow, even on our phones.

Before talking about the Grants area, let me catch you up on our travel day.  Here is why we were unable to continue.  The line of thunderstorms stretched from El Paso, TX all the way up to Minnesota.  It was a slow moving line as well.    This is what we would either have to drive through or delay for.  We didn’t have time to delay our trip and be able to make it back to work in time.  So, we turned around and headed to…screenshot_20191001-070951

Grants, New Mexico

As it turns out, Grants was a wonderful place to stop for two reasons, the Western New Mexico Aviation Heritage Museum and El Malpais National Monument.

Western New Mexico Aviation Heritage Museum

This museum is a restoration of two forms of aviation infrastructure, now both largely gone.  The first and foremost reason I wanted to visit this museum is it’s exhibit on vintage airway beacons.  In many places throughout the country people have stumbled on mysterious concrete arrows and wondered what they were for.  At this museum they have completely restored the concrete arrow and the lighted beacon tower it supported.  As well as the generator sheds that accompanied these towers to power them.  These beacons lighted the way for early airmail aviators so they could continue to fly the mail at night.  There were literally hundreds of these arrows and towers across the country.   The museum is only open on Saturdays so we took the outside walking tour.  There are free pamphlets you can grab that talk about the outdoor exhibits and the history.  This was one of the stops I was most looking forward to.

 

Grants, New Mexico

If you’ve ever seen the movie Cars, think “Radiator Springs” and you pretty much have Grants.  Still it was fun to drive down the main drag and look for remnants of her Route 66 glory days.  We stopped at AutoZone to buy a new tire pressure gauge.  Then we stopped at a touristy little spot to take a picture.

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El Malpais National Monument

After visiting the museum we decided to check out El Malpais (literally, The Badlands in Spanish).   El Malpais is a hugh lava field created by volcanic erruptions.  Spanish explorers named it El Malpais due the fact that it was impassible for their horses.  The terrain is literally littered with razor sharp chunks of black lava.  They had to find a way around.  Other than some Indians that lived in the area the place was largely abandoned for thousands of years.

We drove out into the park and stopped at an area with some sandstone bluffs.  This turned out to be the hidden gem in all of Grants.  Here is a taste of the sandstone bluffs:

 

We drove a little farther down the road and stopped at La Ventana, a large natural arch.  It’s a nice easy hike, only about 10 minutes from the parking lot.

Afterwards we drove back and had dinner back at our trailer.  And enjoyed a beautiful New Mexico sunset thanks to the storms passing by to the east.

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All in all our decision to turn around was a good one.  We saw some things we may not have had time for otherwise.

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