“Mom, Dad come quick. I see something beautiful!”
It was hard to resist, even though it was earlier than I have been getting up. My son was right, it was beautiful. He wasn’t looking at the sunrise like I had suspected but instead staring out a window to the west. He was seeing the results of the eastern sunrise on the hills, trees, and clouds in the sky. The three of us took in the view for a while. I decided to get ready and head outside to see how warm it was at this early hour.
I opened the door to walk outside and a rush of cool air hit me, I immediately closed the door and opened the windows to the RV. Recently we’ve been on lockdown, keeping the blinds closed, windows tightly shut, and AC cranking. Anticipating an impressive sky to the East I step back outside, this greets me:
I knew right away it was going to be a great day. Our plan was to head over and see the Petrified Forest. One of many National Parks on the Colorado Plateau. By the end of the day we would have done just that, and hiked many great trails and seen many great things.
Journey to the Petrified Forest
In spite of the cool weather, we knew it wouldn’t last long. The forecast was for the mid to high 90’s in the area. We enjoyed breakfast outside and packed up to head over to the park. Along the way, we drove through the town of Holbrook, AZ that reminded us all so much of the movie Cars that we’re pretty sure it was the inspiration for it. Thinking that we’d drive through it on the way back, we zipped through and didn’t stop to take pictures. We did manage to get a picture of the iconic Route 66 sign:
We arrived at the Petrified Forest National Park from the southern side. After a visit to the visitors center and during our drive to the second hiking spot, we realized it’s actually a quite large park. We would ultimately not go back through Holbrook as the trip would bring us all the way up to highway 40. That little town in Cars got the shaft again, the shop keepers, gas stations, and citizens would miss out on our business as we took the “larger” highway back.
Sights around the Petrified Forest
I took so many pictures today that my Flickr Album for the trip ballooned to 530 images from 281 from all the other segments of our trip. To say I was inspired and awed by the Petrified Forest and in particular, the Painted Desert would not be an understatement. I truly loved it, but I know that even greater things are yet to come and the anticipation is half the fun.
More about Family, Less about Work
The exciting thing about this phase of our trip is that work appointments are limited until we get further into Utah. That means that I’ll be spending more time with my family. We’ve already started building some great memories and in many ways, the distance and lack of encumbrance has also had a transformative effect on our thought process about life in general. Our possibilities have expanded and our perceptions have shifted. The lack of encumbrance plus the distance from our “home” has given us the ability to become much more objective, dream a little, and thrive. Who knows what’s next, we’re intentionally taking this a week or so at a time, never planning too far ahead.