Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Big Hole In the Ground (No, not the Grand Canyon) – Winslow, AZ

(Flagstaff, AZ) Hi 71 Lo 45 – With a cold front coming through it turned very windy today, with high clouds and not as much sun as we’ve been having. After our morning routine we headed about 35 miles east on I-40 to see the famous Meteor Crater. It’s about six miles off the interstate down a long, straight, boring road into the desert. (Click on photos to enlarge them.)

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We saw the crater back in the early 80’s on our family cross country car trip from California to my new Air Force duty station in Illinois. The crater hasn’t changed much, but they do have a nice new visitor center now.
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The crater was the result of a meteor that crashed into the earth about 50,000 years ago. It’s about 4,000 feet across, about 2 1/2 miles around, and 570 feet deep.
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They estimate the impact was the equivalent of about a 10 megaton nuclear blast. I’m glad we weren’t around to see that!
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Here’s a panorama I took, to try to get the whole thing in one photo.
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It was so windy that all the outside tours were cancelled. We braved the 50-60 mph gusts just long enough to get some pictures, then spent an hour or so wandering through the museum.
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This is the largest discovered fragment of the 150-ft meteor. It’s basically a large chunk of iron.
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It was fun to see the meteor crater again. The admission is $15 per person, and it includes the museum, 20-min. video, any tours that are scheduled (on less windy days), and a coupon for a free cookie at the on-site Subway restaurant (yay!). There is a $1 discount for sr. citizens, and although it’s not advertised, we got an additional $2 off each for military discount. (After we asked about it.)

We made our way back to I-40 and continued east to Winslow, the town made famous in the Eagles song “Take It Easy.” The town was so proud of the song that they created Standin’ On the Corner Park to commemorate it. The small "park" is basically a street corner. There is a statue of a guitar-carrying musician, and a two-story mural in the background showing the girl in the flatbed Ford. (Hey, what's going on in that upstairs window?)

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If you’re not familiar with the song, here are some of the lyrics:

Well, I’m a standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona
  and such a fine sight to see.
It’s a girl my Lord, in a flatbed Ford,
  slowin’ down to take a look at me.

There was even a real flatbed Ford parked nearby on the street.
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The street in front of Standin’ On the Corner Park is part of the historical Route 66, and they wanted to make sure we knew it.
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Across the street is the Standin’ On the Corner Gift Shop. It was full of Route 66 memorabilia, and of course Eagles songs were playing in the background.
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Being a big Eagles fan, it was really neat to see this little bit of Americana. It reminded me of an earlier time, before I-40 replaced Route 66, when you would see unique roadside attractions like this all over the western U.S.
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After grabbing a bite of lunch at a local Taco Bell, we returned to Flagstaff. Tomorrow we’ll be staying in, waiting for news that our new tires are installed on the truck. Dee will post some photos of our park in tomorrow’s blog.

See you then.


Laurel Owen said...

We passed through Winslow on our way north to Denver last fall. Unfortunately, we were on the interstate so we didn't get to see the 'corner'. I love the eagle painted on the windowsill too :)

Janice L Evans said...

isn't that panoramic feature just the best. . .great shot of the crater!

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

Nice tour. We were forced to camp near there during a wind storm , but missed the crater as we were needing to head down the road.

KarenInTheWoods Karen Pfundtner said...

Hey... that corner looks kinda familiar to us! (we were stranded for five days on a corner down the road at HI Chapparal Diesel repair by the Dairy Queen!)

Karen and Steve
(Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard

Mike and Terri said...

You two had a pretty cool day! Great pictures of the crater and the corner. :)

Dizzy-Dick said...

Great corner and a great song!! Thanks for sharing your neat adventures with us.

Tom and Marci said...

Hey, that looks familiar! We had a nice visit to Winslow earlier this year, but skipped the meteor crater, due to the cost.

Bob and Jo said...

If you are ever there again the restaurant in the la Posada hotel in Winslow serves a great meal. We like the breakfasts there.