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Start of DayThe day started in Santa Fe, with one lone cloud hanging out over the mountains on the east.
There was a great deal of construction down the center of
And of course, the one lone cloud.
Coming back into Albuquerque, early in the day, I couldn't get any decent shots of the color of the land. But Albuquerque itself believes in color,
(junction of I-25 and I-40, every piece had this brilliant blue stripe)
Sometimes Route 66 would be parallel to I-40, sometimes wandering off over the landscape to pop up somewhere else. Some sections still remain.
This old steel-truss bridge was in unbelievably good shape.
Unfortunately, it was not wide enough for more than one car to cross at a time,
And was replaced with a wider, but boring new section, before being completely replaced by Interstate 40 over there.
The lava fields were much more visible on this leg of the trip.
New Mexico-Arizona Border: In sunshine this timeComing up on the amazing border geology again, this time with the company of a freight train.
Looking down tracks is just as compelling a view as highways stretching into the distance.
Viewing the cliffs in the sun this time, with all their glorious colors on display.
Being the one driving while crossing out of New Mexico, I had this... This amazing piece of landscape in the rear view mirror. Every time I looked back, I felt my brain stop working, just wanting to stare at the cliffs. This is not a good thing to do while driving, and I felt very relieved when I finally crossed over a hill and could no longer see it.
Somebody had it in for me, however. Having missed the Painted Desert on the way out, we picked it up on the way back.
Nothing prepared me for the problem of running out of adjectives.
I had an idea what was coming. But can you imaging the expressions on the faces of the first explorers who had never seen this land before, traveling across country that looked like this:
And getting this!
Landscape on Stun!How do you prepare for running out of adjectives? Glorious. Awesome. Unbelievable. Stunning. I think I was seriously stuck on stunned.
Followed closely by *gasp*
A lot of rock formations show their layers on a slant, as the earth twists and deforms to create mountains. The amazing Chinle Formation runs the gamut from reds to grays, all in relatively horizontal stripes.
Adjective Generator, She be brokeWhen I got to the "Blue Mesa," I realized my adjective generator had completely broken down. I was pretty much left with stunned.
And the ever descriptive *gasp*
There is water in this desert
Newspaper Rock: Petroglyphs. They look better if you view the larger image and then magnify the markings on the dark rock.
When this wash was first discovered, it full of petrified wood. It was carried away by the truck-load, blasted for the amethysts and quartz within, vanished to be used for doorstops. It is estimated that one ton of petrified wood is stolen from the Petrified Forest every year, even though there are legitimate places to buy it outside the National Park. At one time, this was was full. Now, this is all that remains here.
There are still scattered pockets of petrified wood throughout the park
And around the museum
On some pieces,you can still see the grain of the wood
Life will find toe-holds in any pocket that will hold dirt
All that's left is dusk over the Colorado Plateau, and on into Flagstaff for the night.
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