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Monday, November 16, 2015

Family Road Trip - Day 2: Painted Dessert and Petrified Forest

When we originally started talking about this trip the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest were our two target locations. It added almost seven hours to our drive, not including the extra time it will take to actually drive through the scenic drives in both parks. I knew it would be worth it, I prayed it would be worth it.

This morning was busy. The kids woke early, even though we all went to bed so late last night. Thankfully despite the fact that we were all sleeping in the same room, my Little Cricket in the same bed, we all got a great night’s sleep. I was up with My Little Rose twice in the night but neither of my boys was disturbed. She got her diaper changed, drank her bottle, and went right back to bed.

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So we woke up, got ready, got repacked and then daddy got puked on. It happens every time. I never get puked on, but it never fails, daddy gets puked on all the time. So there was a shirt change. We packed the car. And then we shuffled over to Denny’s (right in the same parking lot). Thankfully our hotel was as close as we could get to the Petrified Forest and it didn’t take us long to get there and it was BEAUTIFUL. So so so incredibly beautiful. We stood in awe looking over natures epic canvas.

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But we couldn’t stay long, it was freezing. We took one quick selfie to commemorate the moment, well Mr. Rogue took a selfie of us (because his arms is longer), and he dropped my phone. Smack, crack, I pray as I pick it up, happy for a moment that the screen isnt broken, only to realize in the next moment that the camera lens is shattered. CRAP. I spent the next 40 minutes with a pair of tweezers and a sleeping Little Rose while the boys braved the cold for some brief stops of fun and photos.

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I am going to have to get this phone fixed. In the meantime there was fun and freezing to be had. We were worried about the clouds, and as they got darker and more ominous we worried more. It got colder. The wind was whipping and the snow came out fierce and strong. We decided to spend an hour driving to the other end of the park, hoping that we could stay in front of the storm and at least see some more cool stuff.

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We were able to make it to the Petrified Forest half of our trek and the weather cleared up. Snow had been here but at least it wasn’t whipping around like crazy. And we found antelope.

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Weather like this sucks for us, for the camera equipment, for any hope of hiking with the kids, however weather like this makes AMAZING lighting for photos. Still cold, but we will take the cold for the beauty.

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We took a break from the cold and from the car to see the little Painted Desert museum. It wasn’t big but I loved learning about how the wood from trees can turn into these beautiful mosaics. Afterwards we went to the hiking path for the petrified forest. Both kids fell asleep so only one of us could go. Mr. Rogue hiked in, and I hung out with my eyes closed in the car with the kids. 20 minute nap.

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The minerals found in the petrified wood were so incredibly beautiful. How wood turns to stone. It is simply breathtaking. Sadly long ago people cut up and scavenged the wood. Still beautiful but these things always make me sad.

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We were photographing the Blue Mesa when another fierce snow storm swirled through. Seriously the snow was thick; the lighting was beautiful, until you couldn’t see anything again. We waited for 15 minutes, hoping that it would pass, and it did. And it was beautiful again.

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Here we had a choice. We could continue on to Flagstaff, or we could take a less direct route, nearly twice as long and take a chance. Take a chance that the weather behind us had cleared up. And catch the final rays of light bathing the painted desert. Of course the weather could be terrible. Or it could take us too long to get back to the painted desert and we could lose the light before we get there. We decided to take the gamble. The kids were sleeping and we were hoping to see the landscape at its best.

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The gamble. It paid off. We got to watch the sunset and the last beautiful light of the day bathe the painted desert in a red glow.

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We needed to get back on the road. We had a three hour drive before getting to our hotel in Phoenix. We stopped in Flagstaff, the only large town between us and Phoenix, to get food and gas. We changed diapers and very tiredly finished the drive. Our hotel was INTERESTING. We somehow ended up with the honeymoon suite. The room was large with a mini fridge which was nice, but the sunken in tub in the middle of the sitting area was odd. We got both kids bathed and all of us crashed into bed. It was another late bedtime, 11:30pm, but we were hopeful that the tiny humans would sleep in.

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2 comments:

Jennifer Arens said...

Oh your LALA skin is fragile! Beautiful scenery and OMG the tub in the hotel! hahahha I'm dying

paul peggy zeus said...

You have to go back when the sun is shining and the weather is a bit less nipply! You look like you were freezing, the wind blowing, and 30 degrees. You braved the elements and made the best of it, but the colors of this park are extreme in the sunlight.

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