We left Flagstaff and headed East on the iconic historic Route 66. We saw a few kitschy trading posts with odd displays. Sadly, most of the old gas stations and motels are shells of buildings better suited for a Mad Max movie. Rt 66 as a destination in of itself will leave a traveller sorely disappointed.
Earlier in our trip we watched Close Encounters at Devils Tower. Today we listened to the Eagles “Take It Easy” while standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona. There was even a flatbed Ford parked nearby.
Our next stop was Petrified Forest National Park. In my minds eye Ive always pictured a petrified Forest as a bunch of standing trees turned to stone. The reality is much different. Petrified Forrest is the strangest combination of badlands terrain with a bunch of logs strewn about. The logs are quite beautiful with their multicolored formations. It is also interesting to see how they are situated. They all have cracked into 2-3 foot sections, sometimes staying in a line other times flung about willy-nilly.
The parks has some pretty strict rules about pilfering the wood/rock pieces. The visitor center has a display of guilt. It features pieces of returned wood and accompanying letters. The letters ran the gamut of apologetic to takes of woe if all the bad luck that had befallen the thief.
Paramount to any trip to a national park, the children earned their Junior Ranger badges.