Wakey, Wakey Part 3 - The Final Episode

The final part of the trip lands us in Petrified National Forest. All my normal exaggerations aside, this place was incredible. Humbling.  I might have gushed a bit. Jeremiah's response to my gushing? "Dirt is 225 million years old. Do you feel humbled by dirt?" I think he was just cranky because he had been driving so long.
We started at the park entrance and then headed through, following the map and narrow road for the twenty-eight (?) mile route. At first we didn't see much petrification of wood around us and I was getting miffed. We only had an hour before the park closed and I was feeling discouraged. The painted mountains were gorgeous, though. So some perks.
In the above picture, I'm not sure if there was a fire and the stuff on the rocks was ashy stuff or if it was mossy stuff. Didn't really seem to be an environment conducive to moss.
This was totally intimidating to drive next to. Especially when you could see huge boulders that had already slid down the side.
Finally on the side of the road, I saw some petrified wood. I screeched to Jeremiah that he should "Stop the damn car!" and I hopped out and took some pictures.
All around the chunks of petrified wood are little (pocket-sized) pieces. I have never in my life wanted to steal as badly as I did at these moments. I'd get back in the car and Jeremiah would say, "Did you put some in your pocket?" All accusingly like. My response was "Do I look happy like I just stole something? No. I do not." Jeremiah's nature/park motto is "Leave only footprints, take only memories." which is posted at Effie Yeaw near where he lived in California. So he is my annoying conscience. Not that I would really steal, but holy crap it is tempting to take a piece of 225 million year old history.
The pieces don't look huge, but they are:
A little background for you:

We stopped at this tourist shop to get a postcard for my grandma. I get her a postcard on every trip I take.
We spent the night in a shady hotel. I actually saw a man smoking a non-plant-based material in a pipe outside while I was waiting for Jeremiah to get our room. I have never hopped over into a driver's seat so fast in my life. Seriously, I could have won a medal. I wanted to be able to leave the scene if I needed to.

I should mention that the dogs did fine on the travels, but it would have been much easier to travel without them, especially Spike. In the car, fine. In the hotel, barking. Not so great. Although, I don't think that that was the biggest concern with regards to our hotel.

The next day we headed for home, this time through Flag.
We are celebrating our 100 year birthday this year in Arizona.

Liars. Big fat ugly liars. I didn't even believe them on the way home. I scoffed at their signs.
I might have screamed a bit on the way home. Mountain driving is a beast. You are right next to the rail, where you can see little crosses put up in memory of those who did not make it back down the mountain.
Plus, you can see the semis heading north UP the mountain. One wrong move, and you are toast. I hope those drivers think about that. My life is in their hands.
When they redid the highway, they decorated/arranged the rocks to make it look pretty.

Here's our sign celebrating Arizona's birthday. Palm trees replace the mountains from the earlier shot.
Home sweet home.
Anyone else take any trips lately?

p.s. Dairy Queen story - On the way home, we stopped at a DQ that we visit nearly every time we head up to Flag/Sedona/Jerome/Wherever. The guy asked us if we wanted dog dishes. They were free, he told us. Not knowing exactly what a dog dish was, we said yes anyway. Mostly because I am in love with free stuff. He gave each of the dogs their own little dish of ice cream. Good Lord, those were some happy dogs. Spike was like the owl in the Tootsie Roll commercial, where the owl says "How many licks to the center of a tootsie roll pop? One, two, three!" and then the owl bites the pop. Spike took about three licks and then just ate the whole ice cream at once. Atticus, on the other hand, did delicate little licks while sitting on my lap. He kept looking up at me and his little whiskers and chin had ice cream all over. Took him a good five minutes. So cute.

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