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Our Big Trip Across the Western US - September 2015

Travel Map

Faced with another day of travel we decided to make less stops so we’d not be as late getting to our end of the day destination, which was Flagstaff, AZ. The on-line map service told us it would be 7 ˝ hours, but we forgot to check the time zone information. Flagstaff is in the Mountain Time zone but most all of Arizona is exempted from Daylight Savings Time. So our actual drive took an hour longer than planned. We started the day checking out a few sites in Santa Rosa where we had stayed. This Spanish style building is the Guadalupe County Courthouse constructed before 1909.

Of course no stop at Santa Rosa without seeing the “Blue Hole” that is located right in town. This spring fed hole is 81 foot deep and 60 foot in diameter. The water is 61 degrees and flows continuously out of the hole into a stream at the edge of it. A brochure indicated that that water is completely refreshed every 6 hours. It is a favorite attraction for divers that wear wet suits to protect them from the cold and dive to the bottom with scuba equipment. We restricted our visit to a couple pictures.

Climbing the stone stairs on the back side of the pool allowed us to see the perfect reflection in the pool of still water. There were several divers around but not headed in as we watched and time did not allow us to linger. The outflow of the hole is directly across the hole from this position; two people are standing on the walkway above it.

Down a side street we drove past this small cemetery and an old church that has long since lost it roof. The interior is filled with weeds and the walls appear to be in danger of falling outward. A stone near the entrance marked this as the St. Rose of Lima Chapel erected in early 1800 and replaced at a new location in 1907.

As we continued our drive through town we ran across the newer church, which is very well kept and the sign out front calls it the Santa Rosa de Lima Catholic Church.

We did stop just west of Albuquerque at a little spot on the map that was promoted as the continental divide and had “tourist sites of interest”. This turned out to be a disappointment as it was a souvenir stand called the “Top of the World Souvenir and Gift Shop”. Right next door was a sign for the “Top of the World Motel” promising rooms for 2 at $20 a night, we didn’t investigate any further.

We took another picture of the beautiful landscape without the informative sign.

At this stop, as well as others along the way, we noticed markings for the Historic Route 66, in this case the road ended in a short distance where I-40 had taken over the roadbed.

Our last stop along the way was at Gallop, NM at the Red Rock Park. This park contains a beautiful display of the large natural red rocks of the area and includes a rodeo arena, campsite, and plenty of hiking trails.

The park is actually closer to the town of Church Rock and this rock formation may be Pyramid Rock. We are not positive on the name because nothing was marked. But there was a trailhead marked with the name and it seemed to be headed in that direction.

Our day began with a clear blue sky without a hint of clouds. About noon we noticed some clouds developing and by the middle of the afternoon we watched a band of thunderstorms headed towards us from the southwest. The temperature was 96 degrees and as we headed into the stormy area it dropped 30 degrees for a time. The temperature did rise to the mid 70’s after the rain passed. We were hit with some pretty heavy rain at times, but nothing that slowed us down and luckily no hail. It has rained off and on here in Flagstaff as we compose this page. Tomorrow we spend the day at the Grand Canyon, cloud cover would be welcome but would hope for no rain.

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