New Mexico to Arizona: The Journey Continues

Thursday I drove from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Flagstaff, Arizona (I wrote this post on Thursday night, but the internet connection at my hotel suddenly shut off while I was publishing it. By this morning the connection had not been restored, and there were many unhappy people at the hotel). The scenery was striking. I stopped to see Meteor Crater, which is a National Natural Landmark in the Arizona desert. The crater is huge–over 4,000 feet across and 550 feet deep!

Meteor Crater in Arizona.

Meteor Crater in Arizona.

You can get a bit of a feel for the enormity of the crater with the following picture. It shows a rock across the rim that is the size of a house.

The house-sized rock is the little bump in the middle on the rim.

The house-sized rock is the little bump in the middle on the rim.

The meteor that caused the crater is estimated to have been about 150 feet across when it landed, yet the largest piece recovered is only a couple of feet in diameter.

The largest recovered piece of the meteor.

The largest recovered piece of the meteor.

I noticed one of the signs labeling rocks had been changed. If you look closely you’ll see the ghost of the old text.

A sign that has been changed.

A sign that has been changed.

I was impressed by the plants growing on the upper section of the crater. It is a harsh, desert setting. I think this plant is a Euphorbia species.

Some desert plants by the crater.

Some desert plants by the crater.

From 1964 to 1972 NASA used the crater for training exercises for Apollo astronauts. It definitely looks like a moon landscape.

The Meteor Crater was interesting to see. It was worth the stop.

On the road to Flagstaff, Arizona.

On the road to Flagstaff, Arizona.

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