Saturday, 15 October 2016

Petrified Forest National Park and The Painted Desert

That night I arrived in Show Low, Trish and I had a great visit and the following day took her jeep and headed for the Petrified Forest just north  of her place. She had never been there and we found it to be a very interesting place. Her and I have explored many diverse and unusual places over the years.
Not far into the drive we stopped at the Visitors Centre and I got my passport stamps. They discovered dinosaurs in this place. Not Drumheller, Alberta for sure but interesting never the less.

We did the little walk outside the visitors centre that had examples and explanations of what we were looking at.
Most places just had scattered pieces but some places had whole logs in sections.

Note the badlands off in the distance. Quite a vista.

This was at the Crystal Forest. You can walk down amongst the pieces of petrified wood and see the crystallization that has taken place over the centuries.

The above are just some shining examples.

Many years ago this log fell across a stream. Buried and petrification took place. The stream eroded and eventually this log was used as a bridge. You can no longer walk on it and it has been shored up somewhat by concrete to preserve this wonderful heritage.

Travelling on down the road you come to another overlook called The Teepees.
Very aptly named.
The next overlook was supposed to be petroglyphs but you could not get very close because of the terrain. I spotted this very interesting rock formation and do not know what it is.
The writing on the stones was on this next rock.
After crossong under the Interstate and heading for The painted desert one crosses over a portion of Route 66. These are a few of the signs .

Then on to the Painted desert and this old Inn that was one made out of Petrified wood. It was a major stop for tourists traveling through this part of the country.

Roof inside the Inn
Famous Navajo artist painted these murals.

Vistas from the Inn

So we headed back to the motorhome and had another wonderful night reminiscing about our day and the things we saw. The next morning Trish got me back on the main Highway and I went to Springerville and headed south on 191 which used to be the Devil's Highway 666.
15 mph turns, 10 mph turns. Vistas of mountains as far as the eye can see. All alone. In 90 miles I saw 7 cars going the other way and passed 2 going the same direction as me. When I got towards the south end. My jawed dropped open and my thought was Talk about moving mountains. The Morenci Copper mine is one of the largest I have ever seen and still working. Stories of the miners taking turquoise from the mine home in their lunch boxes and selling for jewellry. The mine owners did not mind as they were making lots of money on the copper. The same thing was true in Bisbee.

As I drove into Clifton I needed fuel. Went around a sharp corner and pulled into a service station, fueled up, pulled ahead to go in and get a bite to eat. Selected my chicken tenders and went to pay. BHAM the wind hit , the power went out and shortly thereafter the rains came . As I stood in the service staiton and finished what I had to eat. I watched my bike rock in the violent wind and when the rain and wind lessened somewhat I headed on again and again thanked the good Lord for watching over me.
That night I stayed at a great Days Inn in Wilcox Arizona. Not far to go the next day.
Arrived in Tombstone and checked in to my hotel The Outpost. Right next to the Grand where I was booked in the next night. This was the view from my room looking east.
Went over to the Grand and checked in with those organizers who were already there. Said hello to my good friend Miles and found out everyone was going to the Longhorn Saloon in Tombstone for dinner. I ended up sitting with Miles and some friends and managed to entertain with some jokes. Hey I had a whole new audience and was in my glory. Great dinner and Miles paid. Then headed over to Big Nose Kates Saloon where the following pictures were taken.
Trust Miles, reaching for the boobs.....

Big Nose Kate was Doc Holliday's girlfriend
Earlier after leaving the Grand and heading back to my motel I bumped into Gord Apperley from Vancouver who I intended to ride with. I had promised to help Miles with the Poker hands at registration and needed to be back for noon so Gord and I decided to ride down to Bisbee as I had never been there before. Really one could have spent days there learning about this old mining town.

Would like to identify this fern in Bisbee, So far no luck.
In front of the mining museum.
Desert planter. Cool!
Once registration started picture taking was at a minimum. I moved over to the Grand Hotel to be near the action. We had a farewell dinner in an open tent in the back of the hotel and just as they started serving we got a huge rain and windstorm that ruined some of the food but when it subsided we all managed to get some sustenance. I was upset because during the day some ladies came in and advised us that my friend Jennifer from Sacramento had passed away the night before on her way to the 3 Flags in her hotel room in Chandler. 64 years old. Not sure what happened. Just goes to show. Enjoy life while you can.
The next morning. 5 AM we started. 241 motorcycles in front of the OK corral on Allen Street.
The first time in 20 years that they allowed motorized vehicle on Allen Street.
Will close this episode and will conclude the 3 Flags next time.