We may not have had many photos for you yesterday, but we have done better today.
After a night with Jack and Linda and a flat white coffee for breakfast, thanks Jack, very difficult to get a flat white in USA, we left Albuquerque in 14 degree C sunshine, making for a good start to the day. Jack led us out of town to show us some sights and sections of Route 66 that we wouldn't have seen otherwise. I think it was really just an excuse for a ride but it was good to be riding with someone, even if only for a short while, as we have had 4 weeks by ourselves.
Yesterday I mentioned that there was the annual Balloon Festiva in town. This is an international festival attracting around 600 balloons from all parts of the world. As we rode out this morning there was an incredible number of balloons already in the air. Too far away from us for good photos but you will be able to see a lot of dots. Unfortunately, when Jack got back home, he discovered I had left my watch and wedding ring behind, now we have to arrange to post it to somewhere we can get get them. We always do individual checks before leaving motels but somehow that process was overlooked this morning.
On our own again from Laguna we headed west on the interstate to Gallup then over the border into Arizona, another state to chalk up. After a short break and refuel at Chambers, we exited the interstate for a ride through the Petrified Forest National Park. This park incorporates a number of geologically important areas. The first was the Painted Desert, wow, right from first sight you have to be impressed. Apparently best viewed at sunrise or sunset, in this morning's sun the colours were striking. After multiple stops for viewing and photos, we passed some sections that reminded us of the Badlands National Park in South Dakota.
From there we were into Jasper Forest, a very large area of petrified wood with lengthy sections of tree trunks and large pieces of petrified wood. A view overlooking the area shows how erosion over the years has uncovered the petrified logs which have either had pieces broken off as they were uncovered or have eventually fallen to the floor of the area and broken into pieces. There are sections of the petrified logs only a few feet underground but hanging out over the valley. The whole area on which we were standing must hide hundreds of these petrified trees.
On past the differing colours of the Blue Mesa and past the Giant Logs we then headed north to Holbrook and continued west to Winslow, Arizona. Why Winslow, Arizona? Then you're not an Eagles fan apparently. So there we were - "We were standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, , and such a fine sight to see".
After that bit of fun we headed for Flagstaff, our stop for the night, however we were distracted by a sign to a Meteor Crater. I had previously left this off the itinerary but we were making good time, so we decided that as neither of us had had that experience, then why not. I'm glad we did, very impressive. Not all that big but apparently the best preserved meteor crater in the world and the first to be recognised as a meteor crater.
Into Flagstaff, and a motel that doesn't quite meet expectations, after some problems in finding some accommodation near the Grand Canyon, Therese was eventually successful, so we head for there tomorrow.
621 klms today, total to date 12572 klms.