Friday, April 18, 2008

The Meteor Crater, Arizona

One of the places we had to stop at was the Beringer Meteor Crater. So as we left Williams it was a short drive, 75 miles to Meteor Crater Rv Park. The drive was another windy one but the truck and house handled it without any problems, (We even got 14.7 mpg as going downhill helps).

The Meteor Crater Rv Park, as is everything here, is owned by the same company and is the only place to park, (The land along both sides of the road is also owned by the same company and has no trespassing signs everywhere). It was a surprise to find out that it was a nice park. It was uncrowded and it only cost 12.50 a night!

The next day was windy and cold so we waited till 10am to go to the Crater. As you drive towards the crater the low circular hill is obvious. This was caused by the rebound of the local rocks, after the impact. The crater was initially thought to be an an impact site but its origin theory was changed to a volcanic steam vent explosion. This was because it was thought that an impact would leave a huge magnetic iron mass, and none was found. It took 60 years to discover the evidence that it was an actual impact site.

The cost to get in was 13 bucks each and well worth it. The museum was well done, had numerous specimens of meteorites and shocked materials, (after teaching about this place for 30 years I still learned new stuff). Renita is posing next to the Apollo Space Capsule that was used for training the astronauts for the lunar missions.

To view the crater we climbed a stair that took us outside. From there you could walk, not very far, to upper and lower viewing platforms. The biggest problem is to get a sense of scale. The Meteor Crater Museum has placed a six foot high Astronaut in the center of the crater for this purpose. We also wanted to go on the rim walk but the wind had picked up and the rim tour was canceled,(I had also hoped for a tour of the crater itself but no luck there as it's off limits).

The Crater was an enjoyable place. After our visit we celebrated with a subway sandwich, followed by an afternoon nap,(Did I say retirement is good?). Clear skies.

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