Road trip California to Montana

20 August – 3 September 2016

We spent another lovely day with Phil's niece, Kate, and her family in San Diego before starting our road trip north to Montana in Harvey-the-RV. Oliver had fun playing in his ice-cream van, opening Harvey's sliding windows to offer passers-by a variety of flavours. Unfortunately he also managed to smuggle aboard his beloved Bubby, (a Tigger toy) and hide it well enough that we only discovered it 50 miles down the road. Don't panic, but Oliver can't live without his Bubby. What to do? We offered to post Bubby by express mail the next day when the Post Offices opened, but Kate had a better solution, ordering a new one for next day delivery. The only snag with this plan was that original Bubby had been loved until his stripes rubbed off and new Bubby had a full set. Evidently his adventure in Harvey to look for his stripes was successful!

Our consciences now clear, after a night of Wally-camping (Walmart) at Anthem, Arizona, we (and Bubby) continued our journey to the Meteor Crater. As expected this was a giant hole in the ground, created 50,000 years ago by a meteor impact.

The rock hurtled to Earth at 26,000 miles per hour and was estimated to be about 150 feet across and several hundred thousand tons in weight. The hole it left was big, 4000 feet across and 700 feet deep. Only a fraction of the meteor rock remained intact and on display, the rest having vapourised on impact.

Meteor Crater

Harvey hoping meteors don't strike twice in the same spot!

It was a hectic day as we managed two National Parks after our stop at the Crater. Petrified Forest and Painted Dessert National Parks lie adjacent to one another.

The Petrified Forest was quite amazing, with massive chunks of petrified wood, sometimes whole trees made of the gem-like rock substance, just lying around where they had fallen. In olden days local native Americans even used the beautiful stone as building bricks.

After a night in a run-down campground, the only option for miles around, we headed on to our next National Park.

Petrified Wood

Fossilised Plants

Petroglyphs in the Painted Desert

After a stop at the Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site, we moved on to Canyon de Chelly National Park. We had a National Park Pass and we weren't afraid to use it!

This beautiful park lay in Navajo Tribal Land. The canyon had been inhabited for over 5000 years, firstly in camps and later multistoried stone villages and compounds, many still visible today. We toured the south rim on our first day, camping in the Park's campground before driving the north rim of the canyon and learning about the seemingly obligatory massacre of the natives which took place there.

Hubbel Trading Post

Spider Rock, Canyon de Chelly

White House Ruin

Standing at the four corners

Later we once again stood at the spot where four states meet; Arizona, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico.

We had seen enough rocks already, now it was time to find some fish. We headed next to the San Juan River in New Mexico for a couple of days and ten onwards into Colorado.

We pressed ever northwards, to the Uncompaghre River at Montrose, the Arkansas at Salida and back to the stunning North Delaney Lake near Walden.

The fishing and excellent 4G internet available in the wilds gave Christine the opportunity to get her second book published on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback formats. “Second Contact” was unleashed on the unsuspecting world.

Arkansas River

Sunset at Delaney Lake

Two pots of gold?

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