We left Flagstaff Tuesday morning, heading for Albuquerque, NM – a total of 322 miles and over five hours driving time. Call me crazy, but I didn’t want to stay in some hole in the wall out there somewhere in the desert.
On the way out of town, we stopped at Late for the Train – a local coffee place I read about in Northern Arizona Mountain Living Magazine while waiting at the vet for Max to get X-rays. You can check out their February issue with the article in it by clicking here if you are interested. It will take you to their archive, where you can select the February 2011 issue.
The latté was excellent, the staff was young, hip, and friendly. As a matter of fact, we all discussed how it was nice to go to a local place instead of Starbucks. So, off I went into the sunshine and warmth – beautiful latté in hand!
I’d like to say it was an uneventful day – and for the most part, it was. Mostly a lot of driving. Through the same desert we drove west in about six weeks ago! Things were a little different today though. For one thing, it was about 45 degrees warmer. It was fun to see familiar signs and recognize places we had seen on the way west.
When I saw the sign for Meteor Crater, I made a snap decision and took the exit. A six mile detour. What if I get there and decide not to pay up and see it? Well, Hell! It will just be another 12 miles on the odometer!
When I got there, I paid my money and did it. Max wasn’t allowed, but it was best if he rested his little tenderfoot anyway. I left him, with a promise to return, and went off to see the crater — along with about 100 other folks. Sometimes, I wonder where they all come from. I mean, it’s the middle of a Tuesday in winter. Who has time or inclination to be a tourist now?? Duh! Why not now? My guess, based on the size of the parking lot, is it’s a perfect time to come. Less crowds!
I didn’t stop on the way west – I was in too much of a dadburn hurry to get to wherever I was going that day, I guess. I’m glad I went today. It was a beautiful day, the crater is quite impressive, and I need reasons to slow down… This particular crater was created 50,000 years ago by a 150 foot diameter meteor. It measures 3/4 mile across and over 700 feet deep.
I spent about 40 minutes there, between walking around and taking pictures, touring the crater museum, and watching a 10 minute film about the crater. When I came out to the car, Max was ready to get out and hobble around until he found the perfect place to pee. Back in the car and heading east – it was already about one o’clock…
The afternoon was spent driving relentlessly east. We stopped for groceries at a Safeway in Winslow, Arizona, and later for gas at Laguna Pueblo exit (remember that beautiful little church I stopped to see on the way west?)
We detoured through Gallup – I had to see if there was anything to redeem it, and decided there was not. The best thing it had going for it was the El Rancho Motel – where we stayed on our westward trek.
Ever onward to the Land of Enchantment… where I hope to revisit Santa Fe, get up to Taos, and maybe even go way out of my way down to Silver City for some hot springs!
So what about that other hour lost? I’m still not sure why, but we had to move the clock ahead another hour when we got to New Mexico. Tonight, Max was walking much better. His limp is less pronounced, and he’s looking more like himself – not so hangdog… I think he’s on the mend.