Leaving Williams AZ we took a short drive down the highway to a site just outside of Winslow. What is in Winslow? Well, the best preserved impact crater on the planet, Meteor Crater!!!! OK, this is very exciting if you love science… In fact, it was pretty exciting regardless once we got there and could see the sheer magnitude of the site. Sean has wanted to see the site since he learned about it as a child, back in the 60’s… or was it the 70’s? 🙂
We were only staying the night, so immediately after setting up in the RV park, which was only a few miles from the site, we drove to see the crater. It was a short drive through scrub desert, nothing to see for miles but a few mountain ranges in the distance. As we approached the impact site, the terrain, which had been relatively flat, rose up to form a steep ridge. The museum and visitor center were built about halfway up the rise. Like so much of what we have seen the last few months, the sheer magnitude of what can be found in nature doesn’t become apparent until given a perspective. For us, driving up to the visitor center we were struck by how massive the huge ridge rising before us truly was… It was amazing to contemplate that huge wall was thrown up when a rock hit the earth…. True, a big metallic rock traveling at about 40,000 MPH, but still, a rock.
We took some time exploring the museum and visitor center and watched the short but informative movie that shows every 30 minutes. We should mention that the site is privately run and there is an admission fee to enter the visitor center. After watching the movie, we walked out to see the crater. It was a fairly steep climb to get to the top observation deck but well worth it. We snapped several photos and soaked in the view.
Our next ‘Ahhhh’ moment came when we were on the mid observation deck and used the telescopes set up to show various sites on the floor and walls of the crater. One sign said there was a mine entrance on the opposite wall, we couldn’t pick it out until we looked through the telescope or our zoom lens on the camera. Another telescope was aimed at a 6 foot silhouette of an astronaut standing near an American flag at the center of the crater. Again, almost too small to see with the unaided eye. We soaked in the views before returning to our RV and capturing some amazing desert sunset photos.
Leaving Winslow, we continued our journey, the next stop being Albuquerque, NM. We had hoped to stay for several days, but had to adjust plans on the fly. Sean had been in ABQ several years before for a conference. He loved the city and in his spare time explored places, but wanted to spend more time viewing the petroglyphs and a few other sites. Since our plans changed, we only had a day and decided to go to the ABQ Botanical Gardens. Sherry had read about it and we thought it would make an interesting stop. We spent a day wandering the gardens and the adjacent aquarium. The gardens had a number of surprises for us.
Sean loved the train garden and stood for a while watching the various ‘garden’ trains meander along the tracks laid out through the plants. These ‘garden’ model trains were specially designed to be used outdoors as accent pieces for a formal garden. The history of the trains and that type of gardening was fascinating reading. Sean swears if we settle down again he will do a train garden. 🙂 Sherry was fascinated with the Homestead farm on the grounds and became engaged in a conversation with several chickens…
Seriously, Sean pretended he didn’t know her…..
Here are a few samples from that visit. Sean really enjoyed the waterfall shots and playing with camera settings to smooth out the falls or capture each drop. These images have been heavily edited to enhance that effect.
We enjoyed the stop and decided a return to ABQ would be in order. Our next stops were Roswell and Alamogordo. More on those in the next post. 🙂
If you are interested in our thoughts about the RV parks where we’ve stayed, we have a separate page for reviews on the blog at this link: RV Parks Thoughts and Observations
You can also access the reviews on the main page of the blog through a link on the right hand side of the page.