First of all, Arizona is ALWAYS on mountain time, it doesn’t follow Daylight Savings, so I’ve been within three different time-zones in three days, and am seriously beginning to feel jet-lagged and confused.
Anyhow, we woke up this morning in Albuquerque, and used our breakfast vouchers. For five dollars via our breakfast vouchers, I had a delicious egg and potato breakfast burrito, and Justin had pancake and eggs.
Then it was repack the car with all our stuff and off to Grand Canyon State. Speaking of which, why does Arizona have the nickname Grand Canyon State? It’s lame. They’re named after a national park, when there are so many other options for a state nickname… like… The land of Poisonous bugs or The No Time Zone state or something… Nope, instead they get stuck with the Grand Canyon State,
So we crossed the state line and took a picture of the NM/AZ border. So far all the “welcome to” signs have been off the highway and in State Information Rest Stops, which has been awesome, I hope that trend continues throughout the journey. Before leaving NM, however, I needed to find a Starbucks because A} I’m addicted to their coffee and B} I collect their “You Are Here” mug series and needed to pick up a NM one, luckily there was a Starbucks literally next to the hotel, so I found my mug. Next up an Arizona mug of some sort considering we can find a Starbucks somewhere before we hit Vegas.
I also finished The Book Thief this morning, and it was an amazing book. Go read it. Now I;’m reading a book about Woodstock called Summer of Love, I literally just started it though, so I can’t tell you if it’s a decent read or a waste of time. Give me a day or two.
After crossing the state line it was a hell of a long way to our next destination: The Petrified Forest.
After three hours of driving, we got to the National Park, and got to use our National Park Annual Pass for the first time. We stopped at the visitor center and I got some postcards for family and friends, and Justin got a shot glass. He collects shot glasses. I collect Starbucks Mugs.
It took us four hours to drive through Petrified Forest.
For starters, it has an interesting history. Basically the Forest used to be a lush Forest. Then nature happened and things such as flooding and volcanic eruptions destroyed the forest and then erosion basically made the entire thing petrified. All over the park there are dry stream beds and Petrified wood. Unfortunately Justin and I didn’t see any fossils while we were there and the only unique animal I saw to the park was a lizard. But we were on a time crunch and didn’t have much time to go wandering… It was also over a hundred degrees.
Man Death Valley is going to be fun.
There are two different parts of the park. The first is the Painted Desert, which is a series of badlands. The hills in the desert are a myriad of colors due to erosion. The layers contained siltstone, mudstone, shale, and limestone and the rocks are just layers of colors and so amazing looking.
There were also The teepees, which were huge cliffs that had layers of black and purple and it was nothing like I had ever seen.
And Blue Mesa, which are more cliffs and rocks covered in Petrified wood, and when you look from the viewpoints, you can see all sorts of dried up stream beds, and dust storms that look like small tornadoes.
The second part contains the Jasper Forest, Crystal Forest, and Newspaper rock.
Newspaper rock is covered in petroglyphs of all sorts of things… different animals, people, it was pretty cool to look at.
Jasper Forest was a lot of Petrified Wood. And Crystal Forest had a lot of petrified and crystallized wood with amazing colors due to all the different mineral deposits.
It was a beautiful place, and so quiet… We’d be standing at a lookout point and it would literally feel like we were the only two people in the world, who were alive. It was serene, yet scary.
I also got horribly sunburned on my arms, which is crazy because we weren’t outside for long. I’ll have to make sure we both lather up in sunblock at future destinations. The desert sun is a lot more intense than say the Houston sun.
After we drove four hours through the park, we stopped at the Rainbow Forest Museum and picked up our National Park Passports and got stickers and got them stamped.
Then it was off for another three hours to Grand Canyon.
On the way, we stopped at Denny’s, where I had a chicken avocado Caesar salad and Justin had the All-American Slam, then we sat in traffic for about forty minutes near Flagstaff due to an accident.
We didn’t roll into El Tovar till around 9.
That was our day. Petrified Forest was amazing and way more interesting than I thought it would be. Highly recommended.
Tomorrow, we can finally see The Grand Canyon,and then it’s off to Vegas for three days.
Anyways Lyssa out.
Unfortunetly I don’t think you’ll get a Justin entry today because he was exhausted from all the driving and we got to the hotel and he fell asleep. But I know he plans to update tomorrow if he can, so stay tuned for Day Three told from his prescptiv