Living like our group’s motto on the PCT, big days, big stays. 4th day in Flagstaff. Been so antsy to hike but Michael’s flight isn’t until Monday so we’ve had to stick around town. Luckily there are plenty of cool things around Flag. Today we decided to go check out meteor crater once we got our rental car.
We lazed around the hostel again until check out time. The hostel had a kitchen for guests to use so last night I boiled 9 eggs I bought at Safeway and kept the other 3 for scrambled eggs for today! I had scrambled eggs and 4 pieces of toast covered in butter and jam for breakfast. I plan on packing out the other 9 eggs because I crave eggs out here and want to try something new to me.
We walk over to the main street through flagstaff with all the stores and fast food. I go to Dairy Queen and get a banana and chocolate milk shake. The girls there ask if I want hot fudge or chocolate syrup mixed in. I say both. It’s so delicious. The we walk over to a nearby barnes and noble and we read books for awhile. I’m looking at books about wiring stuff because I want to learn how to put a solar panel on a car to power a fridge like Guthrie’s. I don’t understand much of it. I also look at field guides as usual.
We call a cab to come get us from Barnes and noble and take us to the airport 6 miles away so we can get our rental car. No public transport at all to the airport in Flagstaff. Can you believe that?! The guy comes and takes us there. We wait around for our car to show up because they guys renting it before us aren’t back yet and they have no other cars. Once they arrive, we hop in and head towards meteor crater!
On the way out there the plant life changes abruptly. Starting off as trees and larges shrubs near the city, then a juniper flat with grasses mixed in and then just a vast expanse of grassland. As far as you can see its flat! I’ve never seen anything like it! No plant life above 2 feet tall, no mountains in the distance, just flat! Wild. Off to the right of the highway there is a round raised area in the middle of the flatness I suspect to be the rim of the crater. As we got closer this is confirmed! There is a big building on the rim too. We arrive and pay for our $18 per person ticket. Kinda lame but I think it’s worth it. The crater is owned privately. How bizarre is that?! You can personally own a world’s natural wonder? Just seems like it’s something the national park service would own. Anyway, they’ve done a good job with the place. There is a cool meteorite museum with specimens and photos of meteors that have crashed through people’s homes and even a guys car. There are also other space related artifacts and monuments to astronauts.
Finally we head over to the rim of the crater and look out… It’s just… What?! It’s exactly what you expected, a gigantic fricken hole in the ground, but holy shit! A meteor, a fucking 150 foot wide piece of iron and nickel that had been floating through outer space for billions of years, before any life on earth ever existed, came tearing through our atmosphere at 40,000 mph and smashed into our world 50,000 years ago. That is just incredible. It’s amazing. The hole it made is almost a mile wide and over 500 feet deep. It’s huge! It’s would have been very bad news for any critters in a few mile radius but it wasn’t big enough to cause any world wide damage. I just can’t get over the place. It’s so cool. I just wish we could hike down into it.
It’s too big to fit in a picture! It’s also super windy.
We hang out taking lots of pictures and videos and even convince a guy who works there to give us a private tour on a different path even though the private tours were closed for the day. We walk over and get a much better view with the sun more behind us. He talks to us for a bit, seems like a cool guy and he has a good gig going. He lives in the museum and runs around the crater daily. He gets to go all the places you normally can’t. We walk back down into the building where there is a subway sandwich shop and get foot longs.
On the way back to Flagstaff we stop by 2 Guns, a ghost town on old Route 66. It’s pretty cool and post apocalyptic. A run down gas station, old water towers and buildings just falling apart in the strong desert winds. Everything is vandalized and insulation is blowing in the wind. Then we walk over to Diablo canyon and check out some old ruins. Pretty cool. When we get back to Flagstaff we hit up Safeway again so I can buy my resupply until the Grand Canyon. I try some new stuff like baby food that Michael suggests as a joke but then we both agree it’s probably pretty good. I get 5 squeeze tubes for about $5! All kinds of good and healthy sounding flavors. I’ll report how they turn out as hiking food! We drive up the Arizona snowbowl road and find a dispersed camping area where we camp. I’m too lazy and hate the cold here so I am sleeping in the car. I eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream for dinner and wash it down with Hawaiian punch. Living the healthy life.