Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wind, Wind, Go Away!

Otherwise, its here we stay.

And stay we did. We had planned to leave Holbrook today and go to Grants, NM. But there was a high wind warning posted for the area and so we decided to wait it out here. We are really glad we did. There were sustained winds of 40 to 45 mph and gusts of 55 to 65 mph. It isn't much fun to sit here in the RV while the wind blows that way. It even blew one of the boards out from under a rear stabilizer. But it would be even less fun to try driving east on I-40. We wonder how many RVs are pulled off along the road because of the wind. As we looked out our windows, the sky was brown with blowing dust. The power is going on and off and the trailer is shaking side to side. It was scary at times. We are doing our best not to even go outside today. And this evening we have had some light snow showers.

Yesterday we visited Petrified Forest National Park. It includes the Painted Desert. I don't know what I expected. In places there are hills and valleys of many-hued sand. Often, these areas have a lot of petrified wood. What surprised me were the large expanses of regular desert—no sand, no petrified wood, no color. We drove through and/or stopped at almost every overlook and it took us 3 to 3½ hours to see everything.

The two most interesting areas were the Painted Desert near the Painted Desert Inn and the Crystal Forest. A close third was Blue Mesa.

A lonely Indian Paintbrush struggles in the Painted Desert.

These rocks make me think of Tiddly Winks. Remember them?

The Painted Desert Inn was built to serve the needs of Route 66 travelers. In the 1930s, the CCC rebuilt it in Southwestern style. The interior murals were painted by a noted Hopi artist.

One of the CCC workers painted the panels of the skylight.

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