Friday, June 11, 2010

National Parks Really are America’s Best Idea

We left Roswell really early for a couple of reasons. One, to get out of that weird town. Two, to make it to Albuquerque, NM for some Cracker Barrel. Callie and I have never been to a Cracker Barrel and we were told by a few people it was the place to eat. So we drove 3 hours North-West to Cracker Barrel and had a late breakfast. It was delicious, we were definitely recommended to the right place. Trigger liked that you can play chess out front in the nice porch.

From there we headed 3 more hours West to Petrified Forest National Park which also includes the Painted Desert. We started at the main visitor center by I-40 and drove south through the middle of the park. The Painted Desert was a sight to behold. Even though it was a little over cast for us the colors and layers of dirt were amazing.

Unlike anything I have ever seen, especially in a desert where you normally only see red and brown dirt. We hiked 1.2 miles on the Painted Desert Rim Trail. From there we visited the Painted Desert Inn, which is now museum in the shape and look of a Pueblo.

Where Callie bought a National Parks Passport and has joined me in the quest to visit all 58 National Parks.

As we continued south on the road through the park we started to see less of the colorful mountains and more of the Petrified Wood, which is now large stones shaped like trees.

The main theme of the park is “Do not take the Petrified Wood.” Callie and I speculated that it was probably pretty common for people to take the stones because they are pocket size. Our last stop in the park was Rainbow Ranger Station.

Behind this building is a large cluster of the Petrified Wood. What makes this particular section special is because they are all different colors, white, purple, blue, brown, black, etc. It was beautiful.

After spending a little more time than planned in the park Callie and I headed on our way for another 3 hours to Grand Canyon National Park. We got there after dark and tried as best we can to find the Bright Angel Lodge. When we arrived we checked in at the front desk and went to find our cabin. When we found it I realized we were only 20-30 feet away from the edge of the canyon. It was so dark that we could not really see the canyon but I was so excited that I looked anyway. As we were unloading our car people kept coming up the trail because we were also right by the Bright Angel Trail. There was one large group that I talked to who had stayed down in the canyon for a couple of day and it had taken them 15 hours to come up the trail today. Crazy! We were really impressed by our little cabin and settled in for the night. Once again, they had no internet for us to update the blog.

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