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