Got up pretty late this morning and kind of meandered through the dressing and showering routine. We went downstairs here at Twin Arrows and sampled their fare. It was pretty good. I was able to order blue corn pancakes because they are mostly gluten free. Carol had a monstrous omelet that she could not finish in a couple of days. Our waitress had only been working here for about two weeks. Therefore she was not familiar with speaking to customers for long periods of time.

Fortunately for her Carol, saver of souls was her partner in a colloquy. This woman who looked to be in her forties had seven children. She had children ranging from 19 to 4 years of age. Her eldest had dropped out of school in 8th grade and her next oldest had a child at age 14 and quit school because kids were bullying her. She tried a bunch of other schools but none worked. Happily for her, Carol had a number of suggestions that could clear up some of her troubles. Problem is that she probably will not try any of them. Felt kind of sorry for her because she was driving kids to school, shepherding some to day care and working a full time job. There seemed to be a man in her life, but it was not clear how he was helping.

That started off the day with a bang. We got into the car and headed to the Petrified Forest, which is not a forest and most of the things there are not petrified.

However, the scenery and the actual petrified wood are exceptional. The park is about 26 miles long with visitor centers at each end. The entrance we took showed us a film of how things started about 220 million years ago. The trees were brought there by the water flowing down from the north. Actually, Arizona, was closer to the equator in times long past. The current thinking is that all the continents were connected as one land mass called Pangea. Don’t ask me to explain anything more. There is this thing called the internet where all truth resides.

One of the explainers at the visitor center told contradictory stories about the pieces of petrified wood around the center, saying that it was there when the building was built. The park ranger said that was a laugh and that those stones were put there by humans.

Lots of interesting info about the beginning of the national park system and the way people kind of looted the petrified wood before there were any rules to stop it. Actually, it didn’t stop until the 1960’s. You may not take any petrified wood from the park. Your car may be searched on the way out. No, I did not take any.

The points at the stops along the road were spectacular and instructive. There was even a pueblo town that housed about 200 souls up until 900 CE. I have included a pic of the petroglyphs that the pueblo dwellers carved into the rock. I am so filled with information that it is coming out of my fingers.

Yes, we did go through the Painted Desert, but by that time, I was not looking forward to the drive home. We stopped at a small town called Holbrook on the way back to gas us both literally and figuratively. Did you know that most super markets serve lacey Swiss cheese and Genoa Salami? Along with some green tea, we were in deli heaven on the way home.

I continue to lose at video poker. Someone is not looking out for me.


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