Petrified forest, Mesas,nostalgia, trains, and the grand daddy of them all! This post is actually going to be split in two. There was just so many AMAZING photo opportunities in the last few days. We left Santa Fe and headed in to Arizona. About a 7 hour drive. We got a pretty late start to the day because we slept in a bit (good for us)- had to get gas (and our “gas buddy” said Sam’s club was the cheapest and still on the way) and stopped at Starbucks to upload the latest edition. Well while we were in there Bella ate the plastic part off her harness!! Thats the only thing , besides tags, that she chews up (well and the mail that one time!- lol!!!) So we had to stop at Petsmart to get her something new.  This time we got a small collar (burnt orange is her new color- and of course we had to have a matching leash!) LOL! we also got her a pretty pink blinded out name tag! She looks great!

The trip was such a scenic one so it didn’t seem so long- except when I took over driving the winds picked up strongly and it was purring on and off. The RV likes too sway and adding more wind caused me to have a death grip on the steering wheel until I got a hand cramp!!!

Besides some gas and a few road side attractions- we didn’t make a real stop until the Petrified Forest. Lucky for us Arizona is an hour earlier (but just parts and just parts of the year- ALL very confusing!!) but the bottom line is that gave us some more time. We travelled through the Painted Desert and found a beautiful spot to lay some of CuSith’s ashes. We saw more Pueblo s and even some Petroglyphs. With my 70-200 mm I was able to zoom in pretty well and crop into them in post. Way cool how well you can see them! We travelled on through the Petrified Forest making various stops at the different areas. Totally Awesome!! I want to learn more about them now. The logs are 225 million years old! I loved there whole area and Bella got to walk all around with us. The wind was pretty strong and her little ears were just flapping away! We didn’t get to go to every place there we wanted because the gates were closing and if you are still in the park, you have to keep driving. We did stop at the end and bought a piece of petrified wood. You can’t collect any petrified wood in the park- its a $325 fine! The woman at the store says it happens ALL the time. There are always people thinking they can get away with taking just a small piece. But if everyone visiting the park took a “small” piece- there would eventually be none left! Step lightly and take nothing!!

We continued on to Hollbrook- another great stop on Rt. 66. We got to the Wigwam Hotel just at sunset. I thought the place had closed down- but it is fully still operational. I asked the old guy behind the counter how long he  had worked there- he said “since I was 12, my father built the place!”. Wow- to spend you whole life in this little town. I am sure he saw some history.  From there we wanted to make it all the way to Williams. We didn’t have any camping reservations but that was where we were going to be catching the train to the Grand Canyon. And Bella was going to doggie day care and had to check in by 7:30. We had thought we could just pull over anywhere and sleep- but it being such a tourist spot there were signs everywhere for no overnight parking. We went ahead and pulled into the Grand Canyon Hotel RV Park. This is when we decided we wanted to stay here two nights. We originally were going to do the train and Canyon and leave that night- camping part way to the Green River. It being another 7 hour drive. But we decided we wanted a whole day off the road in between and since we were gonna break the drive up like we had just done the day before- that worked we’ll we thought.

So I leave you at this point top enjoy the photos……Part two will be the AMAZING train ride into the Grand Canyon!!!