Adventurers in the Rockies
Heading west through New Mexico and Arizona
stopping to tour the Petrified Forest plus a stop to
stand on corner in Winslow
July 25, 2016
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Chris and I slept in a bit
this morning in Grants due to gaining a hour on our westward
trek. I had a good breakfast in the Travellodge dining area,
sausage with biscuit, a tasty special of the day. Then we packed
up the car, checked out and fueled the car to start the day.
Driving through Grants on old US 66 we looked for trains as we
drove to Baca Road.
BNSF 7090 West at Baca Road.
BNSF 4347 West between Baca and Thoreau. We beat the train to
Thoreau and got up on the bridge over the tracks.
BNSF 4347 West at Thoreau, NM. We took I-40 west through Gallup
but had to stop for another train.
BNSF 7318 East at West Gallup. We got off of I-40 and took St Rt.
118 west to the bridge over the BNSF mainline and waited.
BNSF 7124 West at Manuelito. We drove into Arizona and stopped at
the rest area. From there it was back to I-40 to the exit for the
Petrified Forest. Chris and I decided since we saw the Painted
Desert going eastbound why miss the Petrified Forest on our
westbound return home. I had bought an Interagency Senior Pass for
our entrance to the Painted Desert so we were able to enter
without any fees this time.
BNSF 4347 West at the highway bridge at the Petrified Forest. We
now start our tour of the this unique National Park.
Our first stop was at the Puerco Pueblo.
Walk among a partial excavation on a 100+ room village, occupied
Stop at The Tepees.
From here we drove to Blue Mesa where we stopped for our first
At this viewpoint, we got to see our first petrified logs on our
Some views from Blue Mesa.
More views of Blue Mesa.
A 110 ft (34m) petrified log spanning a gully.
From here we drove to the Jasper Forest.
Jasper Forest is an area with a high concentration of petrified
"Old Faithful" is the showcase log, at almost ten feet across the
After the Great Logs, we completed our tour with a quick look
inside the Rainbow Forest Museum & Visitors Center. Afterward
we exited the park on the south end and took US 180 west to
Holbrook then I-40 to Winslow. We stopped at MacDonald's for an
early dinner then had one last thing to do in Winslow.
BNSF main line.
Big Plant east of Winslow.
Yep, I am standin' on that corner.
About one hour west of Winslow we came upon this big ouch.
By now the rain had started to fall. We found a train and got to
Maine just as one was heading east.
After that train we saw this westbound coming.
BNSF 5476 West at Maine. We then went back to I-40 and the rain
got worse. It was 50 MPH driving for over the next hour as
our good driver stayed at the below the speed limit and those bad
ones just flew by. Once we neared Seligman, Chris decided to leave
I-40 for old US 66 with a lot less traffic. Once we were closer to
Peach Springs and back in the sunshine, we stopped for a picture.
This was the storm we had come out of and with good riddance to
the nasty storm. We went to Peach Springs and found a green signal
BNSF 6583 West at Peach Springs. We took off to get another
picture of this train.
BNSF 6583 West.
BNSF 6583 West near Valentine. We headed to Kingman in a dust
We chased #6583 for a few miles and as long as the road would let
BNSF 6583 West nearing Kingman.
Nearing Kingman we pulled off the highway and called Elizabeth to
make a reservation for us at the Best Western in Needles, CA. We
decided not to stay in Kingman in a dust storm. Once on the move
again, we caught up and passed our train then crossed the Colorado
River and we were back in our home state.
Going through Kingman.
We checked into the Best Western and it was a cool 119 degrees
Fahrenheit (but it was a dry sauna heat).
Home soon and our last day
JULY 26, 2016
That blast furnace of Needles
was still on when we packed up the car and checked out. One last
MacDonald's breakfast and filling the car with gas and we were
off for home. Chris got off of Interstate 40 taking US 95 to the
old US 66 to show me the way the Santa Fe Railroad crossed the
desert. The road was opened all the way to Ludlow and we did see
some trains along the way. At Ludlow we returned to Interstate
40 and stopped at the rest area. On the move again at Barstow we
took Interstate 15 to CA 60 and construction delay due to a
closed car pool lane for about a mile. CA 60 took us right onto
the car pool lane on CA 57 to the car pool lane on Interstate 5
to the car pool lane on CA 55 and then the car pool lane on I
405 which we got off and exited at Brookhurst. Soon we were back
to my apartment. I unloaded my bags and we both commented that
it had been a fantastic trip to Colorado. Chris then drove back
to his home in Santa Ana.
What a great trip the adventurers had but it was
so good to be home again.
Hopefully you enjoyed this report and will read about new NRHS
conventions in the future.
Text and Photos by Author
author retains all rights. No reproductions are
allowed without the author's consent.