August - 15th - 2004

I had never been through the southwest, and especially the canyons and the native American pueblos, the petrified forest and of course, Kitts Peak 40 miles from Tucson and the mile high telescopes viewing the universe.

I rented a car and my sister and I left Tucson and drove to Albuquerque and Santa Fe, staying there over night and spending the day viewing the sights and visiting the art galleries.

Santa Fe

Nice Neighbor Hoods

Yvonne & the Church!

Lots of Home Made Items

Downtown Markets

Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

Then we drove to Flagstaff, stopping at the Route 66 Casino for the Buffet.

Route 66 Casino and Lunch

Route 66

Yvonne Looking for a Jack Pot!

As we drove along Route 66 we stopped to see some buffalo and Donkeys. Donkeys are so sweet and love to be petted, at least some do!

Then to the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest.   We spent the night in a motel.

Road Side Business

Buffalo are Really Bison!

Checking out the Donkeys.

Painted Desert

This was one of the few pictures of the Painted Desert we actually got to see before the clouds came in and there was a shower!

Variegated levels of mineral deposits in the Painted Desert.

Petrified Forest

After the clouds and showers coming from the Painted Desert, we were lucky at the Petrified Forest, sunny and only one rain cloud on the upper left!

This is a great close up of a petrified log and as you can see, the rings are very clear!

Early the next morning we went to view the Meteor Crater.

Meteor Crater - 50,000 Years Old

Meteor Crater is 50,000 years old and is a mile across and 500 feet deep!

Buildings in the Middle of the Crater.

Chuck on the Rim of the Crater!

Yvonne on the Rim of the Crater!

Then we went to the Walnut Canyon National Park with fantastic cliff pueblos.

Walnut Canyon National Park

Walnut Canyon National Park outside of Flagstaff!

Very Steep Steps to the Walk Way!

A telephoto lens was used to capture ruins on the opposite canyon wall!

A great shot, if you stepped off the path, it was a drop of over 500 feet in some places, and even father when up the canyon wall!  Wonder how they managed their children and so on.  The women had to walk down to the river everyday with clay pots and bring the water back to drink and cook!

We then went to the Sunset Crater Volcano.

Sunset Crater Volcano

Sunset Crater Volcano is north of Flagstaff about 30 miles and is located in the Wupatki National Monument Park.  It erupted around 1,000 CE and it took over 150 years for the lava to cool.  The eruption caused damage for miles and the Native Americans living in the region had to move due to the plant and water being damaged.  See the fantastic remains of the buildings they lived in before the eruptions after this section!

We then drove to the park of the Wupatki Native Americans with fantastic stone buildings constructed around 1000 CE. We spent over night in Flagstaff.

Wupatki Native Americans Park

Walnut Canyon National Park outside of Flagstaff!

The next day we were off to Sedona.  A great drive through the canyons and fantastic views.  We stopped for shopping in Sedona and then left in the afternoon.  Unfortunately, we hit a horrible rain storm and the visibility was almost nil.  We couldn't stop as traffic was bumper to bumper.  The water was over half a foot deep at one point and on the freeway to Phoenix, some over passes were flooded and we drove at five miles an hour for an hour and a half.  Traffic was backed up for miles.

Winding Road to Sedona

Then back to Tucson and we drove to Kitt Peak, a fantastic drive, 12 miles and one mile high!  Kitt Peak has around 23 telescopes, the largest sun telescope in the world, and they are building a large array radio telescope near the top.  Fantastic views but not a drive for the faint hearted.

Kitt Peak & Telescopes

We got back from our long drive from Arizona to New Mexico and back again. We decided to treat ourselves with a nice lunch at the Marriott!

Lunch at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa

    Created on: 2004.08.15
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