Friday, 24 February 2012

February 17th, 2010

Rise and shine!  Today we get to spend some time exploring Petrified Forest National Park, but first…
Breaking camp will be a little easier since we didn't use the rain fly.
Another gorgeous day and one of my favorite pics!

Here we are at the beginning of the Giant Logs Trail.  Massive pieces of petrified wood can be seen here.  It’s hard to believe that once upon a time this area used to be lush with vegetation.  Makes you wonder what the jungles and forests of today will look like a million years from now. 

Here is "Old Faithful", the largest petrified tree stump in the park with a diameter of 9.5 ft.

Riding along to see the next attraction: The Painted Desert
Wow!  Never seen anything like it.

Let’s have lunch here and soak up the scenery.  Mmmm banana dog with peanut butter, one of our favorites.  You wrap a banana with a piece of sliced bread and add peanut butter like you would with mustard and eat it like a hot dog.

On to the next attraction:  Petroglyphs!
Hard to see from this distance without binoculars.
Fine then, we'll make petroglyphs of our own!
Not sure if this is a crow or raven, but it's the biggest of its kind I've ever seen.  The picture doesn't do it any justice.  The thing was massive!
An old relic to commemorate U.S. route 66; the infamous decomissioned transcontinental highway.
Another pic of the Painted Desert on our way out.
After leaving the park, we continued with our journey not westward, but eastward along I-40.  For you fight fans out there, particularly mixed martial arts, we’re on our way to Greg Jackson’s gym in Albuquerque, New Mexico to see if our French Canadian UFC welterweight champion Georges St.Pierre was training there.  Being so close to Albuquerque…why not?  We stopped at a Cracker Barrel in Gallup, NM to grab a bite and check the map for a place to camp.  We were eyeing somewhere in Cibola National Forest when an older fella stopped to chat with us after we were done devouring our baked beans and sheppard’s pie.  He warned us that the elevation rises up towards Grants, NM and everything will be covered in snow; hard to believe since the weather was fine here in Gallup.  We better not waste anymore time then, we’ll ride past Grants hopefully before nightfall.  We rode on ignoring the man’s warning and watched the sun set in our rearview mirrors as the temperature plummeted.  Should’ve taken the old man’s advice.
By the time we arrived in Grants it was pitch black and we were frozen to the bone.  We stopped at McDonalds to figure out our next plan of attack.  Our options were to camp at Wal-Mart or pull an all-nighter at a truck stop.  We ended up choosing the latter because there was no way in hell we’re setting up our tent and sleeping outside when it’s this friggin cold. 
Catching up on the ride report in the videogames section of Petro Stopping Center while chomping down on some fudge to keep my sugar levels up.  There was a brilliant moment when we started chatting with a Navajo couple sleeping on a bench inside.  It was sad at the same time because they looked tattered and reeked of alcohol, but we talked about where we’re from and by the time he was explaining where they were from, he was talking to me as if I should know the place.  I’m pretty sure he’s mistaken me for a Navajo, which I thought was pretty cool. 

Amanda trying to catch a little shut eye while trying to block out the annoying bleeps and tweets coming from the arcade games.

Look in the background!  Apparently we're not the only ones trying to get out from the cold.
Amanda gave up on trying not to look too obvious.  So grateful that the workers had the decency to let us stay inside.
254 km

Painted by nature.
A raven from outer space.
Refuge in truck stop.

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