Grand outdoors of the Southwest

The first stop on leaving Colorado was naturally Four Corners National Monument, where fun photos of people reaching Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico at once were taken.

FC

The trip continued south toward Gallup, NM, for a short bit of Route 66 and then onto the interstate heading west again. On the way, a visit was made to the Petrified Forest National Park, an area full of wonderous views of the Painted Desert, some ruins of Native American dwellings, and literally tons of ancient petrified trees all around. A very interesting place where bottled water and strong sunscreen were definitely necessary.

Petrified forest

Then on towards Flagstaff, hitting Route 66 again for a while and stopping for photos at the legendary Wigwam motel. The next stop was at the famous meteor crater, an enormous hole in the ground created 50,000 years ago by a meteor 45 m in diameter. The impact resulted in a crater over 1.2 km across and 213 m deep. Impressive! In fact, the size of the crater would have been impossible to comprehend if it weren’t for a human-sized plywood cutout at the bottom which could be viewed through binoculars set at the rim.

image

Hattivatti and the Wigwam teepees

Crater

Hattivatti amazed by the crater

Finally Flagstaff was reached and dinner was had at a classic fifties style diner along Route 66, the Galaxy Diner. Great burgers and meatloaf served along with the best milkshakes ever were welcomed after a long day of driving in three states.

Hattivatti and a banana split milkshake

Hattivatti and a banana split milkshake

The following day starter with a short ride north to see more natural wonders at the Grand Canyon. Unbelievable to think that plain water has managed to carve such a magnificent formation. The temperature was once again above 30 degrees Celsius, so no hiking was in store for our gang. Instead, some wildlife was spotted beside the Desert View Road: an elk with proper sized antlers grazing in the bushes. Quite a sight!

Canyon

After three hours of gaping at the canyon, the car started to head west again. For lunch, a stop was made at the Roadkill Cafe in Seligman, AZ, along the old Route 66. The interstate was left behind for a while to experience a longer stretch of the original Mother Road from Seligman via Peach Springs to Kingman. After this glimpse into the past, it was time to head for Sin City, the one and only Las Vegas.

Roadkill

Epicness of the natural wonders seen in Arizona on The Scale of Epicness:

watermelon

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