The day after Christmas, we embarked on a road trip that would take us to Petrified Forest National Park, Santa Fe, and Sedona. It was a lot of driving, but we thought we were up for the challenge. I had a little scare when I checked the weather forecast one week before and there was a snow storm expected in New Mexico. Luckily, the forecast cleared up and we were good to go in our Mazda3 Hatch.
During most of the first leg of our drive we were on Highway 40. The creation of this highway made Route 66 obsolete in many places, as documented in the movie Cars. However, a lot of Route 66 nostalgia lives on in the small towns and stores that have managed to survive. We stopped at this Route 66 General Store to get gas.
For some reason, D felt the need to buy Elk Jerky. Don’t ask.
We drove about twenty five miles past Holbrook, Arizona to reach Petrified Forest National Park. This was exciting because it is the twentieth National Park that the kids have visited. In retrospect, I should have had them each hold up ten fingers to commemorate the number. Oh well.
Our plan was to enter the park through the northern station and explore the Painted Desert area. We would save the southern section for the next morning.
D has not switched to dabbing yet!
We hiked the Painted Desert Rim Trail, which is one mile round trip.
We made it to the Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark just before it closed at 4 p.m.
What a view!
The back side.
A raven, I think.
A mini rainbow.
The road less traveled.
The kids received fitness monitoring watches for Christmas. After sitting in the car all day, they were anxious to get their steps in by moving their arms.
When a friendly woman offered to take our family’s picture, she had to tell n, “Honey, you have to stop moving your arms!”
The Painted Desert is certainly an apt name for this area.
The clouds were crazy on our way back to Holbrook. We had a reservation at Days Inn.
I thought the room was ok, especially given the cheap rate. The pillow formation cracked me up, though. D was not impressed.
We ate dinner at a restaurant in town that seemed to be frequented by locals.
Despite the positive Yelp reviews, the wait was excruciating and they ran out of some key ingredients, such as chicken and shredded beef. D and I ordered a couple of dishes with green chile, since that is the popular dish around that area. (The kids stuck to the Navajo taco). We thought the food was pretty good and also had a sopapilla for dessert.
Well…fast forward to about midnight and D was not feeling well. He managed to go back to sleep, but by 2:30 a.m. he was throwing up. I followed suit about a half hour later and continued about four times after that, into the morning. (Sorry if that is TMI). That was the worst night I have ever had while on vacation! Was it food poisoning? Altitude sickness? I am just grateful that the kids were not affected!