So, about my vacation--other than a couple of snags, it was everything I'd wanted it to be and more. Here are some of the highlights:
We started off heading west on I-40, going through western Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandle, and the New Mexico desert, before stopping for the night at a HoJo in Albuquerque. The room had a king sized bed, something Jake and I are not used to sleeping on, as we have a full size at home. Seeing as how we like to cuddle in our sleep, more than half the bed went to waste.
The next morning, we headed off to our next destination: Flagstaff, AZ, with a quick stop at the meteor crater in Winslow. Jake has always wanted to see the crater, ever since he saw "Starman" as a kid. First, we had to cross the Navajo reservation in NM. What a beautiful part of the country! We definitely felt we were in the "State of Enchantment". As we headed into the mountains, the temperature began to fall, as did the snow. By the time we reached this point, it was really coming down. Being the anal-retentive planner that I am, I was already expecting this and had prepared thusly by ensuring our coats were within easy reach, and that we had a blanket and supplies, "just in case". The roads were still pretty good at this point, and since we were descending down the mountain into Arizona, they only improved as we went along.
Considering that it is essentially a big hole in the ground, the Meteor Crater is, quite simply, an amazing sight to behold. To think that a giant piece of rock fell out of the sky from space to come hurtling down and slam into the Earth is an astounding thought. My photos of the Crater do not do it justice. The sheer enormity of its size is intimidating, and makes you leery of any other such catastrophes occurring in our lifetime. While we were at the Crater, a massive storm system was bearing down on us from the West, whipping up the wind and blowing snow everywhere. We were freezing our collective asses off while admiring the view, although it was completely worth it. For any of you considering checking out this natural wonder, I highly recommend that you do, however, please note that there is a charge to get in. We had to pay $15/person for the adult rate. Jake was slightly griping about the price, but I reminded him that this is the National Park Service we're talking about, and this poor, under-funded agency needs all the money it can get. All in all, despite the cold and the price, it was a great little stop along our way, and I would definitely go there again.
Next up: Flagstaff! Or: How The Heck Do We Dig Ourselves Out Of This Snow?!!