Sept. 21, 2017 Albuquerque, NM to Winslow, AZ

I slept like a baby last night. Unfortunately, Bob didn’t! I think he was a little concerned about the drive. They were forecasting high winds (35 mph) later this morning and it would be a crosswind for our drive. We got going early and were on the road by 8:30. It was dead calm and no wind yet. We discovered a Camping World at our exit across the road. Oh well, we didn’t really need anything. This morning it was 64 degrees according to the thermometer, but once the sun came up, things warmed up quickly. On the road, we were getting 99.9 mpg….as we coasted down our first hill.

Now, if only we could keep that up all day we’d get great gas mileage. The scenery was so beautiful–rocky outcroppings on tall buttes. 

We came to an area on the map that showed lava beds at El Malpais and El Morro National Monuments which preserve and protect 114,00 acres of landscape shaped by volcanic action over time creating lava flows and lava tube caves. Also included are a 200 ft. high Inscription Rock and the water hole fed by snowmelt and rainflow pouring off the rock. These dark black areas are the dried lava flows. They were all over the place out here.

We climbed and climbed as we crossed the Continental Divide (7275 ft.) before leaving New Mexico.

This guy drove past us. Now that’s the way to go–a fancy bus pulling a 30 ft. “go fast” speed boat.”

We stopped for gas at a Flying J truck stop where we get 5 cents off per gallon of gas with our Good Sam’s membership, so gas was only $2.30 per gallon. The wind picked up around 10:00 to create that cross breeze we were dreading, but it wasn’t too bad yet. I guess the wind in certain areas was an issue because they had windsocks on the highway. The rocky bluffs were awesome–one view was better than the next.

As we neared the border, we came upon this souvenir place called Smitty’s. The setting was a huge carved-out area in the rock with teepees all over.

This teepee was made out of aluminum.

Looking really close, there were statues of animals placed strategically on the bluffs.

We crossed the Arizona border at 11:15.

The wind really picked up around noon as the terrain changed dramatically from red, rocky bluffs to flat golden grasslands.

This seems to be a major rail corridor with many trains moving goods in all directions. The highway took us through the Petrified Forest National Park and the Painted Desert, but we couldn’t see anything. We turned to Channel 1610 on the radio to hear about the park. The park has the largest concentrations of petrified wood and great views of the Painted Desert. The wind continued to play with us for the last 100 miles of our 294 mile day. We are staying near the town of Winslow, AZ. “Standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona such a fine sight to see. It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford slowing down to take a look at me.” Do those words sound familiar? They are from an awesome song by the Eagles and we were there.

We arrived at Meteor Crater RV Park at 1:30 and checked in. 

We’ll spend 2 nights here, so we can explore the site of the Meteor Crater tomorrow. We passed through the narrow gate of the campground to site # 18.

The wind continued to howl all afternoon and shook the trailer at times. The campground filled up by dinner time. We walked Auggie after supper and the wind was quite strong, but seemed to calm down a bit after the sun went down. By the time we leave on Saturday, the winds are supposed to be calm.

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