Southwest Vacation - Arizona Part 1, the journey to Flagstaff

Painted Desert and Petroglyphs National Monument, Albuquerque NM

The trip from Albuquerque to Flagstaff took us straight through The Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park.  We were able to get out of the car and walk across the desert, collecting bits of petrified wood that were scattered all over the place.  Brennan got a little freaked out when a dust devil suddenly sprung up and blew right into us, but thankfully it didn't last very long.

Painted Desert and Petroglyphs National Monument, Albuquerque NM Painted Desert and Petroglyphs National Monument, Albuquerque NM Painted Desert and Petroglyphs National Monument, Albuquerque NM Painted Desert and Petroglyphs National Monument, Albuquerque NM

The ground felt springy because it was super dry volcanic ash particles, which are even tinier than clay or silt.  We couldn't leave footprints unless we tried really hard.  It was interesting.  And very windy and dry.

Painted Desert and Petroglyphs National Monument, Albuquerque NM Painted Desert and Petroglyphs National Monument, Albuquerque NM Painted Desert and Petroglyphs National Monument, Albuquerque NM

Tristan brought back quite a few petrified tree bits... in his carry-on, which we found out about in the security line lol.  They let him keep them all, even the super sharp axe-looking one.  Thanks for understanding, TSA agent! ;)

Painted Desert and Petroglyphs National Monument, Albuquerque NM Painted Desert and Petroglyphs National Monument, Albuquerque NM
Painted Desert and Petroglyphs National Monument, Albuquerque NM

Noah, Tristan and Josh were happy to get out and climb all over cliffs and rocks.  Brennan and I kept away from the edges and admired the new flora and fauna.  So many cacti!  The rest of the drive was gorgeous as the landscape slowly became more mountainous and green, mixed among fields of dried black lava.

Painted Desert and Petroglyphs National Monument, Albuquerque NM Painted Desert and Petroglyphs National Monument, Albuquerque NM

There were tons of trains moving through the area.  Volcanic areas are routinely mined for things like Uranium.  We passed right through Grants Mining District where there are still billboards pleading the case for forgotten uranium miners on tribal lands. 

Walnut Canyon, Flagstaff AZ  2018-05-30_11-27-06

When we got to Flagstaff, our friends were there waiting for us at the airbnb.  The rest of the day we spent catching up and playing games, and loosely planned our trip to the Grand Canyon the next morning.

Our next chapter: Arizona Part 2, the Grand Canyon
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