Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sunday 4 May - Painted Desert and Petrified Forest

Another clear sunny day with a few high clouds. The bus took us through Winslow which had a difficult time after Route 66 was closed.We ran for many miles close to the BNSF main line which had a succession of westbound intermodal trains, one with a two unit pusher on the rear. The line is double track and well maintained ballast.Holbrook was another town that was devastated by the closure of Route 66. Bucket of Blood saloon was named after a gunfight. Until the 1940s people would visit to see the bullet holes and the bloodstains on the floor.
The Rainbow Forest Museum has a short nature walk which took us through the petrified forest along with several cactus. There was a group of French bikers touring the USA. The guy I spoke to was from Lyon.

Blue Mesa outlook had many different colors and fantastic shapes.

Newspaper Rock
Newspaper Rock is well named. There are a large number of petroglyphs suggesting that the native Indians used this to leave messages. We only stopped for 15 minutes but saw two trains in each direction. The railway must be operating close to capacity.
The Painted Desert vista was magnificent with a myriad of varied colors. As we came over the rise towards the final overlook a collective "wow" ran throughout the coach. We caught up with the French Harley Davidson crew who left before Susan had to force them to move out of her way. 
Lunch was a Navajo Taco which is Navajo Frybread filled with Chili and covered with salad and cheese with a Painted Desert Praline ice cream.
We returned to Flagstaff and took the Oak Creek Canyon route to Sedona, dropping some 2,000 feet. The area is heavily forested and there is a lot of the red rock.
Most of the group had dinner at a Mexican restaurant close by. The margaritas were pretty good as was my pollo poblano (with an excellent mole sauce) and Mary's green corn tamale, beef taco and chicken enchilada - both with rice and refried beans. We had a great discussion with Sue Ellen, Marilyn and Montana. Marilyn spent a very interesting time in Tela, Honduras in the 70s while Montana is currently suffering withdrawal from the football season.
Click below to see these pictures in slide show format