Quick stops – Window Rock and Meteor Crater, AZ

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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?

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Window Rock

It’s more like a port hole than a window, but I suppose “Port Hole Rock” wouldn’t be such a catchy name for a city

Window Rock

Well, that’s the highlight in this town, but you’ve got to admit it’s a bit unusual

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.

Meteor Crater

I must be getting close!

Meteor Crater

Some of the stats of the impact differed in the displays, but for sure this wasn’t something you could run away from if you were standing there at the time!

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!

Meteor Crater

This 1,400 lb. chunk is the largest piece of the meteorite found so far – and I got to touch it!

Meteor Crater
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.

Meteor Crater

I have to admit the first view I got of this hole took my breath away!

Meteor Crater

All of the Apollo astronauts who landed on the moon were trained here – turns out that meteor strikes on the moon yield similar geological information as those on earth

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!



 

9 thoughts on “Quick stops – Window Rock and Meteor Crater, AZ

  1. Haha, that speed limit sign is hilarious!! Every once in awhile I think about meteors and the serious damage they can do — like making ginormous holes in the earth — and then I just have to put that thought out of my mind….

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  2. I think you fell in love with the meteor and are trying to protect it. In realty it was a law breaking reckless violator. I noticed the speed limit for meteors is clearly posted at 26,000 miles per hour.You tried to side with your meteor friend and you testified 26,000 mph was his/her rate of travel. However I read the article in your other photo and evidence shows the meteor was actually traveling at an excessive rate of speed of 40,000 miles an hour… 14,000 MPH over the speed limit. ;=)

    Even though the meteor may be a bad influence in your life I’m glad your best friend is back with you. Say Hi to MonaLiza and send her our love and condolences.

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    • Hi Mike! Yeah, that’s what I meant in the caption – some of the stats differ between their displays and brochures. It seems to be a matter of new science updating the information, but a bit slow in the documentation department. Oh well, give or take 14,000 mph, right? Thanks for your thoughts and say hello to Jeanie!

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  3. I agree…very impressive hole in the rocks which I would never get tired of!
    Your first picture of the crater hole is cool. It’s such a shame we have to be “punished” for the harm a few folks do…

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    • The tour guide, who had been working there for decades made no bones about his feelings toward the vandals and graffiti perpetrators. I couldn’t agree more. It doesn’t take many of them to mess up our gorgeous monuments and attractions.

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  4. We saw Meteor Crater our first year on the road and I admit my reaction was very similar to yours. I didn’t think it would be anything spectacular, but that big hole took my breath away.
    Nina

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  5. Hey….that looks just like Moab! 😉 A hole in a rock wall is impressive no matter if it is the only one around!

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    • Yes, that is so true. I guess it was just more noticeable here because there wasn’t a bunch of other beautiful formations around it. It’s just a warm-up for our stop in Moab next spring!

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