Painted Desert
Weather: We had beautiful weather going through the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest today. The temperature got up to 100 today so we kept our hiking to a minimum.

We came into Holbrook, AZ last night around 8pm and quickly checked in to a really nice Econolodge. We rushed off to dinner at Mesa Italiana, a restaurant down the way. It was really good food, Italian of course.

The next day we drove to the painted desert and petrified forest park. The park really sneaks up on you; you can't really see it from the highway. The painted desert was nice but the first time we were really amazed was when we went through the Blue Mesa part. It looked like we were on Mars or some other weird planet. It did get really hot and we made sure we had plenty of water/gatorade. There were pieces of petrified wood all over the place in some parts of the park and some were taller then me (see picture below). The elevation was around 5000, contrary to the 7000 we had experienced in Mesa Verde. The heat really sapped our energy though and were happy when there were roads to the various attractions. We left the park and drove on about three hours to the Grand Canyon by way of the Meteor Crator. After paying ten dollars one goes up some steps and is faced with a gigantic hole in the Earth. Not a canyon type of hole (we'd seen those), this was just a big round hole about 1.5 miles across. Actually pretty cool, and oh how the wind blew.

The painted desert
Us in front of a painted desert lookout
Shawn with a big tree trunk
Us at the Blue Mesa
Close up of some of the wood
The meteor crator

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© 1997-2001 Shawn Patton