Tuesday, October 11, 2011

From Arizona to New Mexico

by Karen on October 11, 2011

in Travel

What beautiful country we drove through today the 10th of October.  Last night we had camped at a state park in Arizona near the New Mexico.  Today we drove only on highways = about 80 miles in Arizona then crossing over into New Mexico going through beautiful national forest lands.  We are now at Silver City, New Mexico in the southwest corner of the state near the mountains but at a lower elevation than we had been – instead of being in the 30’s tonight it will be in the low 40’s but in the 70’s daytime so that will be nice!

This photo was taken from the window while we were driving.   What a contrast from the rocky cliffs of the canyons.


Maybe it is because of the remotest of the area we drove through we saw several areas set aside for picnic areas/rest areas along the highway. We pulled over to one of them to have lunch and stretch.


This is a Buffalo Berry Bush/Tree covered in pretty colors at the rest stop.


As we were coming out of the mountains and more into desert area once again we began to see these plants in the photo below all over the place!  Ranging in height from about 1 foot to about 10 feet – they are from the Yucca family called “Soaptree Yucca”.   I have gathered up seed pods in an area that was not national forest or state park land to bring home and see if I can get them to grow as I have an area that has tons of yucca plants growing – maybe they will grow?  They might not as their natural home is quite a bit south of us but I have a very dry sunny area that my yucca plants grow so maybe?


Here we are at the campground set up now for the next 2 or 3 nights at Silver City – this big cactus is just across the road from our site.


Our campsite – we have internet and cell phone Smile I’m getting caught up on my mail.


Another of the yucca type plants with the seed pods way up high!  This one is over 6 feet tall for sure.


A few things asked – the black birds in the Grand Canyon area are “Ravens” not “Crows” the raven is much larger bird.

Yes I like the north rim over the south rim – probably because I love the mountains and tall pine trees and aspen trees – the area reminded me of the forests in Wyoming near Yellowstone.

I do love the red rock area for hiking, like at the Arches National Park and the Natural Bridge area that I showed a short while back – there is something about hiking over the rocky trails that I love – maybe because it is so much more open that some of the trails in the forests?

There is a lot to see in the area, we thought two nights here at first but I think we will ask for one more night and spend two days seeing things before we move closer to Roswell/Carlsbad Caverns area in the southeast.  Home in about 10 days!


Petrified Forest National Park

by Karen on October 11, 2011

in Travel

We left the Grand Canyon area on the 9th of October and started to head towards New Mexico – we planned on camping tonight in NM but didn’t make it there.  We stopped at the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona– we took several hours of wandering around and ended up camping at a state park an hour south of there instead.  We will continue to New Mexico tomorrow the 10th just by a different route – which is ok because we will be going through areas we have never seen before.

But now on to the Forest that we saw today – a forest in a word only – it is petrified wood – wood that looks like stone and crystal for the most part.  The first stop was a little museum and information station.


A piece of Petrified wood just as you go into the building.


A nice cut piece that is very shiny and smooth on top.


I think a lot of people have been just as confused as I was about “what time is it” in Arizona – it is one of the very few states that does not have daylight savings time. That means for part of the year is is the same as Pacific time and the rest of the year it is Mountain Time.  Once I had it figured out I adjusted Smile it was just that initial first day when all the clocks were trying to adjust themselves automatically that was so confusing!!


Pieces of petrified wood just lays were it fell a zillion years ago.  Some of course was carted off years ago before this became a national park, but since then it has most definitely stayed where it was.


Chunks of it all over the place!


Lots and lots of big pieces – but then tons more of the little pieces – here I picked up a piece to photo it so you could see the sizes.


And see how big these big pieces are!


Some pieces look like stone or crystal and then you have a lot laying along the trail that looks like wood.


And here you have a whole tree that just fell apart as it fell.


We came to this park one time years ago and I must admit I barely remembered this place.  We visited back in 1978.   I think it was that year.  We had been living in Idaho at the time when Mike was in the military stationed there.  We  went to Arkansas to visit my family in mid June of that year and ended up talking my little sister Lisa (13 years younger than me) and my youngest brother Jeff (11 years younger) to come back to Idaho with us for part of the summer.  My parents agreed to meet with us a in late July to pick the kids up.  They met us about half way in Nebraska.

On the way back to Idaho after we left my parents house in Arkansas we drove through the west  and then went north.  We stopped here at the Petrified Forest for a quick look, the south rim of the Grand Canyon for a quick look Smile yes it was a trip that should have been done in a longer period of time but we had time limits then.  It was nice though having my youngest two siblings with us for part of the summer though as I never really lived all that long with them as they were so much younger than I.  They  were closer in age to my girls than I – at that time Melanie and Jessica were about 5 1/2 and 2 1/2 years old   — Lisa was 12 and Jeff turned 14 on the trip.  Mike and I were  26  & 25 years old then.  Wow years go by.

On to Silver City New Mexico tomorrow Monday the 10th – I have no internet tonight so I am typing this up and saving it and will schedule it when we get back on line.