The schedule for the day was filled with options, so small groups went touring on their own. The first stop for the group I was with was the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest.
The ride through the park goes past some typical desert and mesas.
Along the way we saw a storm building.
The 200 million year old petrified trees are very colorful. We talked to a ranger who explained how they were formed. The trees fell into a river bed, were covered with mud and sand, then covered with very fine volcanic ash. The ash is the source of the quartz that replaced the cells of the trees.
Before lunch we stopped and stood on a corner in Winslow, AZ and took a few pictures at the park that depicts the lyrics of the song.
After lunch we stopped at Meteor Crater. It’s a national Monument, but not part of the National Park system. Since it is privately own, it’s an “attraction.” It’s $16 for adults and $8 for kids. It’s quite an impressive sight and they have a very good museum.
After checking into our hotel in flagstaff, I went for a ride with one of the other Sharks to Sedona. We took 89A, which runs through Oak Creek Canyon. I have driven this route in a car a few times and wanted to do it on a bike. There are lots of twists and turns in the road as it drops 3000 feet in elevation.
The ride down was dry, but I Sedona it started raining hard. We put on our rain gear and rode back up in the rain. About half way back the rain let up and we were greeted by a very brilliant rainbow.
At dinner I learned that the guy who rode with me to Sedona went to the same high school I did. He was in the class after my brother’s. Small world, as they say.