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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Jaw-Dropping Surprises Along the Road

More of this coming below -- be patient!


The map showed a very scenic route to the north from Flagstaff, but David didn’t want to take it, not wanting to end up in Denver with snow, and after his heroic driving of the day before I couldn’t argue, so we left Flagstaff on I-40, neither of us expecting much of the ride. I convinced him to exit somewhere so I could mail postcards, but there was no post office or anything else in Winona, except gorgeous views back toward Flagstaff, and that made the stop worthwhile.


We needed to stop for gas (not filling tank each time, as the car is so loaded down we don’t need the extra weight), and David wanted coffee, so we took a break in Winslow, Arizona, and discovered that the Eagles have done as much for the town as historic Route 66. As a long-time Eagles fan, I was pleased but somewhat taken aback, too, by all the "people our age" taking each other's pictures on this corner -- as we did, too!




But the best was yet to come. On our way out of Winslow, I saw on the map that we were headed toward the Petrified Forest National Monument! How could we not visit? We did not take the long road to the south, where the petrified logs are, but the Painted Desert loop was highly satisfactory. Breathtaking!








After a while, though, one despairs of capturing these vast scenes with a camera. “You can say what you want about Montana,” I remarked to David, “but how can a sky be bigger than this?” For relief, I looked to the wildflowers. 





Senses sated, we continued west, but Arizona had not finished surprising us. “Oh, my god, what’s that? Look! Look at that!” The most fantastic rock formations and colors astounded us – and people and cattle and horses just live there, as if they’re on the prairie or something, which is mind-blowing, if you’ll excuse the expression. Amazed and astonished, I revert to a Sixties vocabulary.... “Oh, wow! Oh, wow!” How many times did I say that in a single day? We had not expected the Painted Cliffs!





Oh, Arizona, it’s hard to say good-by to you! Fortunately, we are on our way home to beautiful Michigan, with delights and loveliness all its own....




3 comments:

BB-Idaho said...

Well, all this travel has my nose in the map! David is probably right, Colorado can snow most anytime and you probably don't have your snowshoes along. Weatherwise, you will have to cross the Great Plains at some point and it is still tornado season, so it would be wise to
check the weather forcasts now and then. The petrified forest reminds us of the famous old
fur trapper, Jim Bridger, who
told of discovering a place where
there was a petrified tree. A petrified bird was up in the branches and it was singing a
petrified song. Back to the map
to see which way I would go!

P. J. Grath said...

We are definitely checking weather as well as maps but do need to angle up toward Chicago sometime soon. About birds and their songs and calls: I think the mockingbird should be called the mimic bird, and the raven should be called the mockingbird. Ravens always sound as if they're jeering at humans.

Karen Casebeer said...

What a variety of skies are in your Painted Cliff images! I love your enthusiasm for most everything you see. Continued safe travels. Karen