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Written by Tim Black   
Wednesday, 06 August 2008 01:50

Today was the first of our marathon driving days. We planned these days to be 8-9 hours of driving, but because we can’t do the speed limit these days are going to take longer than that.  We covered a lot of the Southwest today--from the middle of Arizona to nearly the end of New Mexico.


Public works got some culture.  This was in or near the Navajo Nation.


Petrified Forest National Park.

A sign in the visitor center reads, “The bubonic plague is real.” A more detailed flier in the Mather Campground at the Grand Canyon explained that you can get it from the animals in the park, especially the rodents. I told a ranger that was very surprising, and she said, “Don’t play with the animals.” Ok, you convinced me. She said they’ve had some occurrences in the past but not recently. The threat of death has enlivened this trip throughout; even the truck rental agreement and usage guidelines state plainly and repeatedly that a consequence of not following the instructions is “serious injury or death.”  Though people may live in fear of death all their lives, thanks be to God He has made a way to no longer fear it through the death of Christ as our substitute.


We’re house hunting at the Puerco Pueblo.


At least it has a foundation.

Actually, the guy behind the counter in the visitor center is from Kansas and said some small towns there--including Coffeyville, which is 20 miles from Caney--are giving away land for free to attract new residents.


Indian petroglyphs. The interpretive signs show adult men chipping out the drawings, but do you really think kids didn’t have a hand in it? I got my kicks out of the man-eating bird--it’s straight out of Calvin and Hobbes. A great addition to our nation’s artistic memory. Interesting how graffiti became worth saving.




Can you find the petroglyphs?



Yes, it’s rock. And there’s a lot of it around the park, but they say tons of it are stolen each year. They also say it weighs 200 lbs per cubic foot!


Do NOT take any. Instead, buy it legally outside the park, from people who picked it up outside the park. I wondered how thoroughly they’d want to search the back of our truck, but they just waved us through at the vehicle inspection point at the park exit.


There are a LOT more chunks of petrified logs lying on the floor of this valley--they are most of the brown dots you can see.





The Painted Desert in the Petrified Forest.



The Teepees in the Petrified Forest.


Gallup, New Mexico.


Continental divide.

We had hoped to make it to Palo Duro Canyon south of Amarillo tonight, but it's time for bed so we stayed in a hotel in Tucumcari, NM.

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 August 2008 08:27