Petrified and Painted

As Day 3 of our trip starts, we make our way into state #3: Arizona.

We start our day off with warm weather and sunshine as we head East. Leah had mentioned she wanted to find some turquoise before leaving the southern states of New Mexico & Arizona. We made a stop at a trading post before hitting the state line of Arizona, only to find regular gift items and a generic display of jewelry that was very over priced!

Indian City
Indian City Trading Post
Welcome to Arizona
Welcome to Arizona

At the state line, we stopped for a photo of the “Welcome to Arizona” sign, which becomes a theme throughout the trip. Here at this sign, you should be 85 feet tall in order to get a proper “selfie” with this or you can take one from far aways.

Our first order of business, the Petrified Forest. A place Brad had wanted to see on our last visit to Arizona but didn’t make it to due to weather. Little did I know, the Painted Desert is part of this park as well.

Petrified Forest NP

Our plan was to spend 1-2 hours here; but we found out there was only one route to get to the petrified wood and since that is the whole reason we came… We stayed longer than expected. Leah and I spent some time in the gift shop picking out the best petrified wood pieces to take home. (No, you cannot pick it up off the park grounds and take it home. It’s a federal offense). I will say though, wait until you get outside of the park. There are so many little shops selling petrified wood and they are probably a little cheaper. They will also be selling giant pieces, if you want something bigger than what’s in the gift shop.

Map of Petrified Forest & Painted Desert

Rain had made its way in and the temperatures started dropping. Thankfully I came prepared! {anyone remember that jacket I purchased from Gearing Up ?}

Well, it came in handy!

4_Petrified Forest sign
Photo with the park sign
Brad_Petrified Wood
Brad feeling the wood…(pun intended)

After a few photos with the Park sign and the Painted Desert, we headed South to find the wood. Here is where we made stops:

Tawa Point

Painted Desert

Painted Desert Overview

Painted Desert Overlook

Nicole_Tawa Point
Photo captured of Me at Painted Desert


4_Petrified Forest
Here are the first few pieces of Petrified wood we came across

Petrified Log


The Teepees (Similar to Blue Mesa)


Do not climb on Teepees

Jasper Forest

Crystal Forest

Crystalaized wood
Some of the wood has crystalized

Petrified stump

Petrified wood blocks
There will be petrified wood chips scattered all over Crystal Forest. They feel like hollow pieces of wood.

*One place we didn’t stop was Route 66, driving right past it (by accident). There is only an old beat up car with a post and sign. The point of this stop is where Route 66 used to exist. What I think is neat is the old telephone lines! [If you’ve been/plan to go- tell me if you think it was worth turning around for]

Now that we had seen it all, it was time to get back on the course and make our way to Meteor Crater. {I’m rolling my eyes about this stop} Antoher one of Brad’s “must see” places- I was not thrilled, but I went. The crater is waaay off the highway and down a partially paved road. You’ll basically dead end into this building and parking lot in the middle of butt-fuck nowhere. You have to pay $18 per person to enter and then you “get” to go through the (they call it) museum. {It was moderately interesting}  And then they ruin the whole experience for you, because there is a gigantic window with a view of the crater. DO NOT LOOK OUT THIS WINDOW!!! It will ruin your day. Seriously. I wish they would have closed off the damned wall.

MeteorAnyway, after you finish the crappy museum you get to go outside to look at the crater. It’s neat. That is all I have to say about it. Be mindful that it is extremely windy when you go out there. Hang on to you glasses/ hats/ pride… what ever. You can’t get back that window thing, I promise. (see below, turn down volume)

Brad_Meteor Crater

There are 3 levels to view the crater. We went to the highest first. After that, I didn’t see the point to view it at any other level. Clearly this was not exciting (for me). Once that was finished we had to make some decisions…

Meteor Crater
Overview of Meteor Crater

Flagstaff was 2 hours away, where we could stay at a KOA (RV campground with hook ups) or we could go an additional 45 minutes south and stay in Sedona{you already know where my head is} Unfortunately, there was some kind of crazy something going on in Sedona because everything was booked or $450+/night. Needless to say, we made it to the Flagstaff KOA.

Horsemen Lodge

Here we stopped to eat a a restaurant called The Horsemen Lodge. Steaks & Potato heaven, basically calling our names. All I wanted was vegetables!  We ate well. I highly recommend trying this place. {try the cornbread}

This was out second KOA and like our first KOA experience; it was pretty good, showers were reasonable and weren’t too far of a walk to get to. Sleeping in the RV was different. Any time someone rolled over or moved in their bed, the whole RV would shake {gently, but you could feel the movement}.

Remember when I said the temperatures were dropping? By the evening it was necessary for warmer clothes. Flagstaff is in higher elevation (being in the northern part of AZ), surprisingly it’s rather cold up here for May. I must say that I was not expecting these kinds of temperatures here at this time of year, nor did the weather state it was going to be like this a few days prior!

Flagstaff’s terrain is vastly different than the rest of Arizona, there are giant pine trees and no mountains near by. While we were heading in from the East, it went from desert and shrubs to grass and trees. More bizarre was the drive further West on Day 4 to The Biggest Hole on Earth, the Grand Canyon.

2 thoughts on “Petrified and Painted

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