Southwest 2021:
Day 16 - Lyman Lake


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Southwest 2021: [Day 1 - Missouri] [Day 2 - Kansas] [Day 3 - Kansas] [Day 4 - Ft. Collins] [Day 5 - Perry] [Day 6 - Salt Lake City] [Day 7 - Salt Lake City] [Day 8 - Salt Lake City] [Day 9 - Goblin Valley] [Day 10 - Torrey] [Day 11 - Kodachrome Basin] [Day 12 - Coral Pink Sand Dunes] [Day 13 - Lees Ferry] [Day 14 - Grand Canyon] [Day 15 - Grand Canyon] [Day 16 - Lyman Lake] [Day 17 - Carlsbad] [Day 18 - Davis Mountains] [Day 19 - Marathon] [Day 20 - Arlington] [Day 21 - Hot Springs] [Day 22 - Bowling Green] [Day 23 - Heading Home]

Wednesday, March 3, 2021: We were on our way nice and early because we had a very big day ahead of us. Tom reports that the millennial clown car had already ejected some millennials into the bathroom, even at 6:45 AM.
Nearly two hours later, we had picked up some Del Taco for breakfast. Totally worth the wait, especially if you order a non-breakfast item. In related news, Debbie wasn't even close to being sick of the crispy jumbo shrimp burrito yet.
We headed to Flagstaff Citizens Cemetery next.
We drove slowly through the cemetery looking for anything that matched the picture of the memorial on the sign we had seen the day before. We were looking and ... SQUIRREL!!
We finally turned to the internet to look for more pictures and clues to the location. That led us to this area on the edge of the cemetery.
This was it.
The small plaque on the bottom noted that this was a common burial and memorial to 66 of the 70 TWA passengers and crew who who lost their lives in the 1956 collision over Temple and Chuar Buttes, as the sign at Desert View Watchtower had told us. The large plaque listed the names of the deceased.
Next, we drove through Flagstaff, which is just the cutest town.
It has a train station, which we were near when we got stopped by an actual train.
Lowell Observatory was on a hill looking down on us.
Check out that cute art on the bridge.
We headed to Frances Short Pond in search of a Bicentennial Moon Tree, one of a set of trees grown from seeds that flew to the moon.
The pond was beautiful ...
... with a large variety of birds living on it.
These birds appeared to be courting.
Here are a couple of white geese, perhaps, and one American coot - the little black bird with the white beak.
We spent over a half hour walking around the entire pond and through the trees nearby, looking unsuccessfully for a tree that probably isn't there anymore. At least it was a beautiful day and lovely location.
We drove up the steep hill to Lowell Observatory ...
... but this was as far as we got before we could go no further. Check out the cool sign on the left.
There was a nice overlook to get a view of the city, ...
... and a pretty view on the drive back down.
Apparently, we were in Route 66 country.
Maersk!
This stretch of road is part of the Purple Heart Trail. It's everywhere!
We were heading to Meteor Crater shortly before 11:00 AM. See what they did there? Meteor Crater Natural Landmark on a brown sign. Looks and sounds a lot like Meteor CraterNational Landmark, doesn't it?
Like many other visitors, we had been under the impression that it was a national park or something, but it turned out to be a privately owned tourist attraction.
The courtyard had a couple of space things, but we're not sure this counts as an air and space museum.
They had a boilerplate test article used for engineering tests of the Apollo command module.
This was pretty cool. It was just an opening in a brick wall but it framed a gorgeous view.
Once we finally figured out how to get outside to see the crater, we walked up to the highest viewpoint ...
... to get the best view of it all. It's 4000 feet across - about 3/4 mile.
Then we walked down to the middle viewpoint, ...
... which featured pipe viewfinders.
Look here for the 6' tall astronaut & 3' x 5' flag.
See them?
We made a very fast circle through the museum.
This almost counted as a space display. Almost.
This is a the largest fragment ever discovered of the 150-foot meteor that created Meteor Crater.
Next stop: Winslow, Arizona. If you're looking for any reference to the "Standing on the Corner" attraction, we saw that last year so read all about it here.
We had come back to Winslow to see this cemetery, ...
... and specifically, the monument in the middle of this picture, ...
... for Emma Lee French, known later in her life as "Dr. French." She was the widow of John Lee, of Lees Ferry.
There was a lot of writing on the back of her gravestone, but it wasn't legible.
Just outside of town, we crossed the Little Colorado River as it meandered its way to meet up with the mighty Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. It's easy to see why the water is so silty by the time it converges with the Colorado.
We saw several of these Blowing Dust Area signs throughout the rest of the day. They weren't kidding.
Look at this interesting railroad vehicle. What do you suppose it is for?
Our next stop was Holbrook, Arizona, to see Wigwam Village #6, known as Wigwam Motel.
It is one of three remaining Wigwam Villages, of seven originally built between 1933 and 1949.
This sign notes that Wigwam Village #6 was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2002, just as the other two are. We'd be visiting Wigwam Village #2 on the last day of the trip.
Look at this vintage Dairy Queen sign.
We went to Carl's Jr. for lunch in our daily attempt to eat at a regional chain. We tried to find something on the menu that differed from its twin chain, Hardee's, but it was all identical, starting with the Famous Star.
There you go - a tumbleweed rolling across the road. We were definitely in the west!
Our next stop was the north entrance of Petrified Forest National Park. We had been here last year near the start of the pandemic and it was closed, ...
... but this time it was open!
Our first stop was Tawa Point to see the Painted Desert.
Debbie's family had been here when she was not quite two years old during their move from Wisconsin to California.
Of course, Debbie had to recreate the photo.
Tom did his best to catch the beauty in a panorama shot.
Painted Desert Inn was closed due to the pandemic, unfortunately.
It has been a National Historic Landmark since 1987.
Petrified Forest is made up of two parts - a small section north of I-40 with the majority south of I-40. As the park's main road heads south toward I-40, there is a Highway 66 display.
There's an art piece of an old-style fender on display, ...
... plus the remains of a 1932 Studebaker ...
... and an informational sign.
The coolest thing, though, is the actual stretch of Route 66. It's nothing more than an indentation now, but these vintage telephone poles mark where the road used to be.
While we were here, Tom received the notification that Indiana was offering vaccination appointments for Hoosiers age 50 and older, so he immediately got online.
The online wait went more quickly than estimated, ...
... and in no time, he was scheduled for an appointment two days after Debbie's.
The next point of interest was an area called the Tepees, ...
... which featured little cone-shaped hills.
This area is called Blue Mesa.
Petrified logs are scattered around the landscape like a giant toddler left his toys lying around.
It's a nice little loop road with pretty scenery.
It offers accessible trails ...
... and stunning colors in the rocks.
We were the only car at the Agate Bridge stop.
Agate Bridge is a 110-foot long petrified log that lies across a small gully.
It really is long - here's the end of it, well past the end of the gully.
Here's view from the Jasper Forest overlook.
Log parts are scattered everywhere among the hills.
Wow, those colorful layers - so cool.
Those are the Flattops up ahead, ...
... and that's Martha's Butte on our right.
We arrived at the Rainbow Forest Museum and Visitor Center near the south entrance of the park. Here's an interesting but unidentified desert plant.
Behind the visitor center is the Giant Logs trail.
We had only walked a few yards when Debbie said, "That's a Mather over there." See it? That white rock with the plaque on it off in the distance to the right?
Yep, it's a Mather. We had seen two other identical plaques earlier in our trip at Golden Spike and the Grand Canyon. Please oh please don't let this become a collection.
Anyway, back to the giant logs. They were giant.
This one, named Old Faithful, was huger than giant, to quote our granddaughter when she was three years old.
Oooooh, this one was pretty.
And just like that, we were out of the park by 3:15 PM.
See that fence? It is the only thing standing between all of those tumbleweeds and us.
Here are some of those blowing wind areas the signs have been warning about.
There's the Little Colorado River again.
Eastern Arizona scenery.
Eastern Arizona farm. Looks a little different than the Midwest farms we are used to.
More eastern Arizona scenery.
There's a scorpion sculpture on the side of this little hill. Why?
We arrived at Lyman Lake State Park after an hour of driving.
Lyman Lake is a man-made lake created from the Little Colorado River.
Water levels are a little low.
We checked in and parked at the spot Debbie had carefully selected online. It was right next to the bathroom, which turned out to be closed for the winter. Sigh.
But it did have an unobstructed view of the lake below us and a fantastic picnic pavilion.
The campground was nearly deserted. The only other people in camp were in the two spots behind us, but they were behind our pavilion so we pretended they weren't there.
Except when we looked out our front window at the sunset, of course.
Tom made dinner for us - a cheesy pasta side dish with cubed ham added. By this time in the trip, we had learned that if we used the water pump to dispense water from our fresh water tank, it made a terrible noise. Fortunately, we had a water hookup at this campsite.
Our evening entertainment was watching "Tombstone" for the 100th time. At bedtime, the winds really picked up and were rocking the rig and it even rained a tiny bit for the only time of the trip, but we stayed safe and sound inside.

Day 17 >


Southwest 2021: [Day 1 - Missouri] [Day 2 - Kansas] [Day 3 - Kansas] [Day 4 - Ft. Collins] [Day 5 - Perry] [Day 6 - Salt Lake City] [Day 7 - Salt Lake City] [Day 8 - Salt Lake City] [Day 9 - Goblin Valley] [Day 10 - Torrey] [Day 11 - Kodachrome Basin] [Day 12 - Coral Pink Sand Dunes] [Day 13 - Lees Ferry] [Day 14 - Grand Canyon] [Day 15 - Grand Canyon] [Day 16 - Lyman Lake] [Day 17 - Carlsbad] [Day 18 - Davis Mountains] [Day 19 - Marathon] [Day 20 - Arlington] [Day 21 - Hot Springs] [Day 22 - Bowling Green] [Day 23 - Heading Home]

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