In the post I published a few days ago, I said it detailed my “final solo excursions in New Mexico and Arizona.” Well, I lied. There ended up being two other quick stops I made before my honey came back home, and I couldn’t think of a graceful way to sneak them into her next post. So this is a short one with a few photos of the stops I made at Window Rock and the Meteor Crater on my way to Cottonwood, AZ.
Window Rock –
Those of you who have been hanging out around Moab lately can skip this section, as Window Rock cannot compare with what you’ve seen. But I thought this unusual sandstone formation in the small city of Window Rock – the seat of government and capital of the Navajo Nation – was pretty cool. I had never heard of it, but it was on the map right there near the New Mexico/Arizona border, and on my route between Gallup, NM and Canyon de Chelly. Why not stop and take a couple of pics?
Meteor Crater –
I’ve been fascinated by this hole in the ground as long as I can remember, and I just had to make a stop on my westward trek across Arizona. I spent two nights at the RV park just 5 miles from the crater, a much shorter drive than I’ve been making to other attractions recently.
I loved the story about the man who spent 26 years drilling into the crater to find a meteorite that wasn’t there (almost all of it was vaporized in a massive explosion). Other displays detailed meteorites smashing into people’s homes and cars over the years. Kinda scary!
The crater was impressive indeed, created by a meteorite only 150 ft. wide impacting the ground at 26,000 mph. The details about how the forces of the impact made this giant hole were very interesting, and I spent much more time in the museum studying this and other impact events than I did outside at the crater.
Although the $18.00 admission seemed a bit steep at first, I learned that this is a privately-owned attraction completely paid for by tourists. The visitor’s center is very nice, and there were hourly guided tours that followed a 1/2 mile path along the rim of the crater. Unfortunately, the majority of the path around the rim was closed over 20 years ago due to vandalism and a few bad seeds stealing items from the property. Too bad, the 2.5 mile walk around the rim would have been a great way to get some exercise and good photos from different perspectives.
I thought this was definitely worth the stop, and an interesting way to spend a few hours. If you’re ever near Winslow, AZ and haven’t seen it yet – you gotta go!