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Rlhdancer - Continental Divide Trail Journal - 2019

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Split & Two Step
City: Pleasanton
State: California
Country: USA
Begins: Aug 9, 2019
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Wed, Aug 7th, 2019
Start: Flagstaff, Arizona
End: Gallup, New Mexico
Daily Distance: 0
Daily Ascent: 0
Daily Descent: 0
Max Elevation: 7200

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 184
Journal Visits: 1,584
Guestbook Views: 24
Guestbook Entrys: 1

Continental Divide Trail Map

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Meteor Crater Natural Landmark

A Walk Through Time

A Walk Through Time
Last evening, we thoroughly enjoyed our night in Flagstaff. It was a mile walk from our hotel to downtown, but once there we had a reasonably good meal at a local establishment, Beaver Street Brewery. The highlight was, of course, their craft brews, which we experienced through a 6-glass taster flight. Their R&R Oatmeal Stout was delicious, and required a revisit. Afterwards, we walked through the bustling downtown (surprising for a Tuesday night) and then visited one more brewery. Dark Sky Brewery was named in honor of Flagstaff being the first US city named as being Dark Sky astronomy friendly - ditching, for example, broad spectrum high pressure sodium vapor lights for highly downward directional LED lighting. But our focus was their Unholey Moley Double Imperial Stout. It lived up to its hype, and was a truly exceptional tasty treat with chocolate and chili undertones. Yum.


We headed out of Flagstaff at 7:30am on I-40, and were anticipating reaching our highlight for the day, Petrified Forest National Park. Highway 40 traverses a rather unremarkable dry and flat landscape out of Flagstaff, and I was preparing for a nap as Two Step competently navigated down the road, when suddenly I saw signs for Arizonas Meteor Crater Natural Landmark. I have known about this site since I was in middle school. One of the largest easily recognizable craters in the world, it formed 50,000 years ago when an iron-nickel meteor 150 feet in diameter and weighing several hundred thousand pounds crashed into a level plain, vaporized the meteor, and threw ejecta for miles. Only six miles off the highway, I requested an unplanned stop and received a level stare from Two Step. Both in a mood for adventure, we agreed to a short stop, and were soon walking into a rather impressive building perched on the crater rim. Realizing this would not be a free viewing, we almost bolted, but in for a penny, in for a pound. We paid $ 16 each and soon were standing on the crater rim, glad we had made the investment. This crater was formed by an explosion equivalent to 20 megatons of TNT, and it had raised a crater wall perhaps 100 feet above the plain, 700 feet deep, and 4000 feet in diameter. Incredible. The museum was outstanding, one highlight being a small room in which you see a re-enactment of the impact, with full sound, vibration, and wind effects. What a great site to just happen upon.


Suitably warmed up, it was on to the main event. We pulled into the visitor center at Petrified Forest National Park, walked though a set of displays of fossils and recreations of dinosaurs from the Triassic era and the geology that created the petrified trees, and then walked out the back door to a landscape full of petrified trees. My amazement at the abundance of trees was only exceeded by the details preserved and the beauty created by the fossilization. We spent the rest of the day walking trails through these fossilized mammoth threes, and then enjoying the painted desert. The colored layered strata of these badlands was extraordinary. It was also amazing to learn that Native Americans had been in this area since 10,000 BCE. Seeing the remains of their extensive buildings and petroglyph drawings rounded out the day.


When we left the park late in the afternoon, we continued our trip down Highway 40 to Gallup, New Mexico. We will enjoy tonight, and one more zero day tomorrow before we again embark on the CDT.
Setting ourselves up for another adventure,

Split and Two Step

Entry 2 of 17
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Journal Photo

Split And Two Step's 2019 CDT Journey

The Continental Divide Trail is a national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada via New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. This unfinished trail can potentially span up to 3,100 miles. Learn more: www.continentaldividetrail.org

 

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