Day 15 – We checked out of our Yavapai Lodge early to get a jumpstart on the LONG drive that would land us in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We woke up famished and decided to skip the fake-egg breakfast the restaurant at the front of the general store put on and opted for a couple of boxes of cereal and a half gallon of milk instead. Cereal is a crowd-pleaser every time and it was cheap. So, that was perfect.
We drove back out of Grand Canyon Village, through Williams, Arizona, and out to the visitor’s center for Petrified Forest National Park. There we picked up a map, a round of Junior Ranger books, and solemnly swore not to take a speck of petrified wood home with us. Take only pictures and leave only footprints, right? The ranger running the check-in booth even gave us a paper to sign stating that, and encouraged us to report any lowly human who chose to disobey.
The drive through Petrified Forest took about 2 hours, including stopping here and there to get out and explore. We pulled off to take in the painted desert, an old broken down car, and the Painted Desert Inn, which was really a fun place. It was set up like it would have been when it was still in business, which was really neat.
Our final stop was at the visitors’ center at the end of the drive to check out the movie they had about the area and for the kids to be sworn in as Junior Rangers. By then, it was time to get rolling if we wanted to make it all the way to Albuquerque before the day was out. So, on we went.
Somewhere between Petrified Forest and Albuquerque, the great fight of trip broke out. I guess it was bound to happen as all seven of us hadn’t spent more than a few minutes apart in a couple of weeks. I don’t even remember what it was about. I do remember being very glad to pull into Albuquerque (which, by the way, looks amazingly like a wider, deeper Las Vegas at night), feed the children, and hit the hay. And so we did. On to Dallas, Texas tomorrow.
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