Saturday, July 6, 2013


it was an unplanned stop.

i had heard about it from the friend of a friend or someone that if we were in the vicinity we should make a stop.  you know, for kicks.

we were driving away from flagstaff, az when we saw the sign for it.  and, very much unlike myself, i suggested that we go and see it.

"say what, mama?"

again, let me remind you this was not an intended visit.  it was not on the schedule.  i had not informed my husband or children that it was even a possibility, nor did i really even discuss it with them.  i think i just spontaneously said, "let's go there."

so out of my comfort zone, so out of character for me.

i think it was the best day of our trip.

it started with a walk within the astronaut memorial park.

the view from this window in the wall was breathtakingly beautiful

ander was more than a little disappointed that he could not get inside the capsule

you better believe it!

ander was avoiding the paparazzi that day, so diana stood in the area where we expect ander's name will be engraved sometime in his future

he was focusing his attention on testing the weightlessness of gravel

between the truly excellent gift shop/rock shop (displays to fill a geologist's dreams) and the visitor's center was a long stairway, perfect for launching rockets

and there it is. seriously.  it's huge.
we didn't need to hike around the rim to experience the awesomeness of this "giant bowl" (as i described it to ander).  the fixed telescopes and scale comparisons were incredibly effective in providing a sense of scale.


the sense of wonder that i had felt upon my first visit to the grand canyon was clearly evident in my children as they gazed upon meteor crater.  after exploring the museum inside the building, diana asked to go back outside to just sit and look. steve was happy to oblige her.  they agreed that the crater was far more impressive to them than was the canyon.  i stayed inside with ander, watching (and re-watching, and watching again) a re-enactment of the formation of the crater.  i think he memorized the script and relished the deep rumbling bass that shook the floor of the tiny, dark viewing space.  and i was just fine with that.

that one stop to meteor crater released me from feeling any regret about the family's grand canyon experience being less than i'd hoped for.  by being open to something completely different, unexpected, i'd unearthed a treasure.  (ok, maybe not exactly unearthed, since it did originate extra-terrestrially.)

day 1 - to midpines, ca = 178 miles
day 2 - to san marcos, ca = 390 miles
day 3 - to williams, az = 576 miles
day 4 - to grand canyon = 120 miles
day 5 - to meteor crater near winslow, az = 77 miles
miles traveled after halfway through day 5 = 1241 miles

there's more from this day, though . . .

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