So This is Arizona

Life on the road….

Have I mentioned how magnificently, breathtakingly, spectacularly beautiful this country is….every bend in the road exposes new wonders.

I spent an entire day hiking through the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert, took over 250 photos, came home and wanted to throw them and the camera out into the desert. You CAN NOT feel the intensity of this place by looking at photos. To stand on the top of “Blue Mesa” and look out over millions of years of geological history is for me, a life altering experience……I know, they’re all life altering experiences. I guess I’m just a consummate nature lover.

Petrified wood is created over millions of years by trees that have died or been blown over by wind and then buried by layers of sediment. The logs soak up ground water and silica from volcanic ash and over time crystalize into quartz. Different minerals create the rainbow of colors seen in some of the photos…..Not your average campfire wood.

The “Painted Desert” covers approximately 7,500 square miles and is composed of stratified layers of easily erodible siltstone, mudstone, and shale. These fine grained rock layers contain abundant iron and manganese compounds which provide the pigments for the various colors of the region. As I walked through the area I was surprised by how soft the layers were to the touch, when to look at them they appear to be very hard. You can easily dig through what on the surface appears to be “as hard as rock”. The odd contrast for me was when you think about wood, you don’t think of it as being as hard as rock and when you think about rock…..well, you expect it to be hard……Quite the opposite here.

I also visited the Navajo County Historical Museum, the Painted Desert Indian Center, an old abandoned motel on Route 66 and The Wigwam Hotel, where you can stay in what appears to be a “Pre-Fab” wigwam…..I’m sure someone will see the irony in this.

Last week I talked about 2 dogs that wondered around the RV park. This week it was 2 chickens. A rooster and a hen. Oddly enough, the rooster was multi colored like the male dog and the hen was white like the female dog…..I swear I am not making this up!!!. The hen followed the rooster everywhere, just like the female dog followed the male. Of course the rooster could not tell the difference between sunrise, sunset and mid day. Whenever he felt the urge, he would start crowing away. It was really quite fun…..except the fornicating outside my door. There is a definite difference between the sound of a rooster “crowing” and the sound of a rooster “CROWING”…if you know what I mean.

We had a sad incident a couple of days ago when someone let their cat out to explore the area. A coyote snatched her and drug her into the desert. The cat (who had been declawed) was no match for the coyote….although by looking at the area, she put up quite a fight. She was saved by someone who heard the commotion and ran the coyote off. The poor cat was rushed to the vet and she will survive….but she will be a long time recovering. PEASE do not have your cat declawed.

The new water heater arrived and has been installed. I had to modify one of the drawers in the sink cabinet to make it fit but it was well worth it. I now have electric hot water and am taking hot showers in my own tub. To celebrate this I painted the outside of my “home”. (see pics) I figured since I am now in Arizona, land of the mammoth known as “Land Yacht”, I should clean up my act. It looks so much different that a couple whom I met at Enchanted Trails showed up last night and asked about me, knowing I was coming here. They didn’t recognize the old girl and only when they saw the kayak did they realize it was my RV.

Tuesday I head over to Flagstaff for a few days. I’m going to ride a train up to the Grand Canyon to spend a day. It is a 2 hour ride that looks like my kind of adventure. After the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert, I’m sure I won’t be disappointed.

The Adventure Continues…..



5 Responses to So This is Arizona

  1. Avatar David McClung
    David McClung says:

    Your a very fortunate man Dennis. Most can only dream of seeing the sights you are enjoying. I’m glad that as passionate as you seem to be about nature’s raw beauty, that your getting to experience all she has to offer. I have had the same humbling feels when I’ve stood looking at such beauty. Continue on

  2. Avatar Doug Unca McClung
    Doug Unca McClung says:

    Wow Dennis, you’re on a trip of a life time!!! It’s great reliving all these places through your pictures. The painted dessert and petrified forest are simply a thing of majestic beauty…enjoy!!!

    • Avatar Doug Unca McClung
      Doug Unca McClung says:

      The Grand Canyon now has a look out spot with a glass floor, so you can look down below…that’s got to be a trip in-itself

  3. Avatar Nerissa McClung
    Nerissa McClung says:

    Hi Daddy! What kind of wildlife is out there?! Seeing any ugly snakes?