Petrified Forest National Park, Painted Desert, Hot-Air Balloons, and Museum of Nuclear Science and History in Albuquerque, NM

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This place had beautiful pieces of petrified wood and an amazing collection of minerals and fossils on display. We bought a gorgeous set of book-ends, it was so hard to choose!

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The Petrified Forest was beautiful but there isn’t much to do. I would recommend driving through like we did. It’s hot and all the trails are fully exposed to the sun. There is zero shade, hello, it’s a desert! This is definitely something I wouldn’t pass without seeing though, it is stunning!

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Our campground was a good place to stay in the city. They have wonderful showers, I really love a good pressure shower! If you have long locks like me you know it’s hard to get shampoo out with a trickle, and don’t even bother with conditioner cuz that’s never coming out!

For our 2nd Anniversary Jacob bought us a ride in a hot-air balloon. I had to wait over a month to get my gift but it was totally worth the wait.

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This was a group effort to pick everything up. This thing was massive. The balloon weighs about 650 lbs. and the basket weighs about 1,500 lbs.

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After ballooning around town we went to the Museum of Nuclear Science and History. New Mexico, especially Albuquerque, has a lot to do with the invention of the atomic bomb. Our next stop, Alamogordo, houses the site of the first atomic bomb detenation. This museum takes you behind the scenes of the discovery of the atoms. Then how scientist developed the atomic bomb with the drive of stopping WWII. We watched a film about the effort put into making the uranium and plutonium and ultimately the creation of the bombs. This was a every interesting museum, but their is a ton of reading so it takes a good part of the day.

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Grand Canyon and Sunset Volcano in Flagstaff, AZ

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We arrived in Flagstaff later than expected. After we setup we jumped in the truck to go to the Visitor’s Center in Historic Downtown. We received some valuable information and COUPONS (which is why you should always go to the visitor’s center) at the desk just in time for closing in 2 minutes. There is a wonderful pamphlet with 5 days of adventure itinerary.

We were not able to go walking around downtown as planned because as we were leaving the Visitor’s Center the sky turned black, the winds began to howl, and it started pouring. It rained the rest of the evening. So we did some groceries (like it’s a verb) rented a movie and stayed inside the rest of the night. Apparently this is the beginning of their monsoon season, darn but whacha-gonna-do?

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The following day we planned to go the Grand Canyon National Park. We spent almost the whole day at this park. Walking around and taking pictures of the beautiful, gigantic canyon. It’s definitely GRAND! The park has an easy layout for any activity level. There is basically 1 main parking area, it’s huge like Disney-style with numbered rows and animals to remember where you parked. I said, “Pluto row 14,” and Jacob didn’t know what the hell I was talking about. Anyway we parked on Raven 1. There is a really nice Geology Museum about the formation of the landscape and identification of the minerals that make up the landscape.

After walking all day, we were pretty tired but I still wanted to go Downtown to walk around and window shop. Wouldn’t ya know the sky unloaded again! I think Jacob asked for this to happen, LOL! He hates window shopping and walking around with no real plan or purpose. So it was back to the camper for another rained-in night.

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The next day we drove to Sunset Volcano National Park in the morning to walk on LAVA. On the way there we stopped to recycle all of our empty water jugs and other stuff. Jacob is such a wonderful husband, he found a recycle place, without me asking, because he knows it makes me so happy to recycle everything we can.

After a great morning in Sunset Volcano National Monument we planned to head over to the Lowell Observatory during the day, have a nice dinner in the city, then go back the Observatory at night. However things didn’t go quite as planned due to the afternoon monsoon, again! It was so upsetting, because this time it started raining at lunch time which screwed up the whole day.

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KOA in Needles, CA

Good lord it was HOT here, hotter than I have ever felt. It was like being inside an actual sauna, literally 116 degrees!!!! The people who live here must have crazy-high energy bills.

This place was dead, not one person outside not even in the pool. I don’t know if it was due to the heat or low oxygen level or some other phenomenon but when I was in the pool, just stand not moving, my body felt like it had the wind knocked out. When I swam it went away. The air was just so dry, it hurt to breath it in. They must have to fill the pool at least once a week!

This was only a one-night stop, thank goodness, I don’t think i could have handled that heat much longer. We checked in around 5pm, did laundry, and swam. Then it was time for dinner and bed. Aside from the heat, this is a nice campground with great amenities for travelers such as; satellite TV and pool table in the rec-room, large clean pool, clean restrooms with nice showers, gifts and grocery shop, and laundry room with 4 washer and 4 dryers. I love a campground with nice showers, it’s just so much easier to wash my hair under a normal sized shower head apposed to the baby sized one in the camper. Jacob thinks I’m crazy. I forgot to take pictures, oops. I’m sure their website has the same shots I would have taken.

We left first thing in the morning for Flagstaff, AZ.

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