May 23, 2010

Travelogue Day 3

New Mexico - Arizona

Today took us across the Continental Divide, and once again we're in a different time zone. Part of the day was quite beautiful for traveling, and the other part was a little gritty. More on that. Did you know that this Continental Divide marks the line along which river systems drain to the Atlantic on one side, and to the Pacific on the opposite side? The one we crossed today is considered the Great Divide since it follows a line at much higher elevations than other divides. Also, did you know that AZ doesn't use daylight savings time? So, we got to set our watches back yet another hour today and believe me we needed it!

Our first discovery of the day was about an hour outside of Albuquerque, in the town of Grants, and it's located on what is considered a young volcano field called El Malpais (the badlands). We definitely did not expect to see lava here!

Next, we were "welcomed" into AZ at a visitor's center which included this sign...
We thought this one was kind of charming, however this next sign was not at all what we wanted to see!
Yes sir, the route we thought would be an easy shot to Flagstaff, was closed because of a dust storm! The wind was incredibly high and the red dust was in the air for sure. So, we picked an alternate road and headed out, but not before taking a photo of this painted cliff, which was part of the visitor's center - so beautiful!

Our ride along the alternate route was quite an adventure, and we literally had sand in our teeth and hair by the time we arrived in Flagstaff. My incredible husband drove through this dust storm like an expert and helped us both enjoy our time, rather than be annoyed at the extra time on the road and the nasty little weather event! We crossed through a Navajo Reservation and the edge of the Painted Dessert. You can see from these photos that we had more than enough reason to feel grateful for this day!

What an amazing world huh? "God saw all that He had made, and it was very good." Gen. 1:31

We arrived safely in Flagstaff, where it was 50 degrees and spitting snow!!! It is a lovely town and we were so glad to be out of the dust that the cool air didn't deter us one bit. We shopped in the charming downtown area, where we found local crafts and authentic jewelry, then we ate dinner at a Latin kitchen called Criollo - tapas, salmon tostada, and quinoa fritters - oh my, my. The bonus was the organic wine, and the local and sustainable food they strive to serve. Another bonus, the people in this town are incredibly friendly, which is always so welcome.

Tomorrow we head for the Grand Canyon and we'll enjoy an anniversary meal (a day early) at a fine restaurant in the park. On the morning of our anniversary, Lord willing, we will be watching the sunrise at the edge of the Grand Canyon. I won't be blogging tomorrow, but I'll get back to you in a couple of days!

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