The Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest – Crossing into Arizona
Leaving Albuquerque, we are delighted to be taking I-40 going West; it’s like everyone else is on I-40 coming East. The drive is smooth, a little road work here and there, but nothing that holds us up in any major way. We cross the continental divide (where all the rivers on the east side flow to the Gulf of Mexico, and those on the West side flow into the Pacific) and we wonder what the divide is called, if anything, that divides rivers flowing into the Gulf of Mexico from rivers flowing into the Atlantic?
We are driving along the old Highway 66, too, which is fun, seeing the nostalgic old signs and relics from the 40′s and 50′s, when Route 66 was in its heyday and there weren’t big interstates fully functioning.
From Carlsbad, where we saw temperatures up to 99° F, we have dropped considerably, and hit the road with a temperature around 45°, which rises as we drive toward the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest. When we arrive, it is in the 80′s (F) and a bright, partly cloudy day. The colors and the scenery are unimaginable.
I included this one because it made me laugh. These signs are necessary; Americans are inclined to wander off the trail, it’s in our nature, and we need these signs to make us more careful where we are stepping :-)
As we leave the Painted Desert trail and head into the Petrified Forest area, the weather starts getting seriously complicated and the temperatures start dropping:
At the risk of giving you too much information, whatever goes into the toilet evaporates due to the constant wind action. Whoever sits on the toilet has the unusual experience of having a wind-dried bottom: