My Western Trip Part~14

6 Aug

A Slice of Life

By Bill Lites

Bill Lites

Bill Lites


The next day, before leaving the Phoenix area, I tried the Wingspan Air Museum again, but they weren’t open until late in the morning, so I located the Arizona Model Aviators field in Usery Park, near Apache Junction, AZ to see if anyone was flying, but not that morning.   It had been 96-98 degrees in Tucson the three days I was there, and 87-89 degrees in Phoenix, so I was in shorts and a tee shirt as I headed for Flagstaff, AZ to check out a couple museums there. It wasn’t that long of a drive, so I didn’t even get out of the car until I stopped for some lunch on the outskirts of Flagstaff. I hadn’t noticed the gradual climb out of the desert, but I sure did when I stepped out of the car. Wow! What a shock! It was only 46 degrees and the wind was blowing. I almost froze before I could get into the restaurant where it was warm. I had forgotten that the elevation in Flagstaff was almost 7000 feet and what a difference that makes in the daily temperature. After I checked into the motel and changed into jeans and a long sleeved shirt and jacket, I went in search of the Museum of Northern Arizona, located just north of the city. The museum’s exhibits relate mainly to the anthropology, biology, geology, and fine art of the unique cultures of the Hopi, Navajo, Zuni, and other Native American tribes that live on what’s called the Colorado Plateau.



Next, and just down the road a few miles, I visited the Pioneer Museum, which was originally built in 1908 as a hospital and served as such until 1938. The exhibits at this the museum reflect the history of Flagstaff and northern Arizona including the local history of ranching, logging, transportation and life in Pioneer Flagstaff. Festivals and events are also held on the museum grounds including the annual Wool and Fiber Festival, the Folk Festival and the Heritage Festival. That evening I took the advice of our friends Jim and Charlene to try the Chile Rellenos at La Fonda Mexican Restaurant, and was I glad. They prepare Chile Rellenos like no other restaurant I have ever eaten at, and they were delicious. Their Tacos and Enchiladas were also excellent.



The next morning, since I was in the area, I took a side trip to see the Meteor Crater, and it was well worth the time. That’s a really big hole in the ground. The Arizona crater is 3,900 feet in diameter and 570 feet deep, and the rim of the crater rises 148 feet above the surrounding plain. Scientists have estimated that a nickel-iron meteorite about 165 feet across impacted the earth at a speed of around 28,600 mph. It is also believed that about half of the meteorite’s bulk (150,000 tons) was vaporized during its descent before it hit the ground, with an impact energy estimated at between 10 & 20 megatons. And, just think, there are another 184  confirmed impact craters that have been discovered around the world, and listed in the Earth Impact Database. I would say, our planet home (Earth) has been banged around pretty good over the centuries. I guess Earth would look much like our Moon if it weren’t for our own protective atmosphere.




—–To Be Continued—–

3 Responses to “My Western Trip Part~14”

  1. Anonymous August 6, 2014 at 11:07 am #

    Enjoyed Flagstaff, thanks.


  2. Louise Gib son August 6, 2014 at 8:46 am #

    Another great descriptive writing, Bill. How fortunate for you to have had such great experiences, (and great food along the way).


  3. Old Things R New August 6, 2014 at 7:18 am #

    If I ever take a western trip, I am coming to you for advice on where to find good food! I am enjoying your trip!


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