In the end yesterday I did not arrive at the petrified forest. It took me a little longer and I just arrived today. My first impression was that a piece of petrified tree looks very nice, but for the rest is was a big disappointment. I don’t know why they call it a forest, because there were only small parts scattered around everywhere. Everything was just lying on the ground and I recall the largest part of petrified tree was maybe one meter long.
After the petrified forest I went to see a nearby meteor crater, but this was possibly even a bigger disappointment. There was literally nothing to see there.
Afterwards I continued to the Grand Canyon and spend the night in an Indian reservation. Across the motel there was even an authentic Indian shop… of course I went to check it out but I freaked out when I noticed the prices. A small rug that wasn’t even one meter big cost around $800 !!! I could not believe it, for this amount of money you can smoke the peace pipe for months. Maybe I’ll get a fake one.
Yes, I have arrived in New Mexico. I already went to see some Indian things and the next thing I will do it drive towards the Petrified forest. There are a lot of petrified things around here, like petrified wood and petrified sand dunes.
Because the word petrified resembles the word petrol I used to think that petrified referred to the process where small plants and animals deep under the ground take thousands of years to turn into oil. Now I realize it means that something turns to stone. This knowledge changes also my understanding of the Harry Potter book in which everyone petrifies all the time.
More and more I am beginning to realize that the Indians were a very smart people who really had lives arranged in a very nice manner. I visited Mesa Verde, a kind of hole in the rock-face where the old Indians had constructed a home. It was nice and dry, with a nice view and a source of water nearby. One with nature. If the had problems they just smoked the peace pipe and all the troubles disappeared and it all just didn’t matter. Respect for the Indians.
I just returned from a great hike through the land of the Arches. I started the hike around 10:30 and around 14:00 I returned to an incredibly hot car. Now I realize why the Indians have a red skin. It was so hot and I even think that if an Indian would see me now, he would directly give me an Indian name like ‘Red Whiteskin’ or something similar.
It was quite busy in the national park, and the most common nationality I encountered was Dutch. Everywhere I heard Dutch and saw Dutch people. Thanks to some of the people I met I got a lot of good tips for the remainder of my trip. I also noticed that the Americans I encounter all get really excited because of my Yankees cap. They directly feel the need to talk about the game, the team and their history, but I really don’t know how to respond because I have never yet seen a Yankees game.
Right now I’m in Utah and the most stunning thing here is the environment. Everything has a red color, the sand, the rocks, everything. It is very warm and at times hot (when it’s not raining). Utah is a kind of desert and one with a lots of hills. I think the only reason Utah exists is by the grace of the tourists.
Colorado was all grass. Everything was green because of the endless seas of grass and the landscape was a little hilly. Colorado can exist because of it’s grass… it supplies food for lots of cows and horses. Colorado also has some mountains that are rich with gold.
Kansas was very plain, with a bit more bushes and oil! Lot of oil and lots of machines pumping the oil from the ground.
Today (just like yesterday) I’ll be spending my time in Moab. A little city that really resembles a very small town near the Arches. An arch is a big rock with a hole in it, so you can walk through it. Yesterday I was traveling towards Salt Lake City when I stopped at some parking lot/view point to have a look around. Here I encountered some ex-Dutch people that had been living in America for quite some years. They told me that going to Detroit was a mistake (as I already figured out myself) and they told me going to Salt Lake City would be another mistake. It was far better to drive to the south, eventually ending up in the same place, Vegas.
Once I arrived at Moab (yesterday) first thing I did was find a library to browse the Internet and then I went to the visitors center to find out all the local attractions. My coincidence the guy working at the visitor center was a Dutch guy! The funny thing was that he knew I was Dutch after saying about three words in English and we directly switched to speaking Dutch. He had acquired a heavy American accent, which made his Dutch sound pretty cool.
The Dutch guy told me I absolutely needed to see a certain arch during sundown at around 20:30 so I bought a little map and that evening I went to see the arch. The walk was estimated to take around 45 to 60 minutes, but I walked there in only 33 minutes. After arriving the view of the arch was impressive, but the weather was not so good. A lot of wind and I could see thick rainclouds at the horizon. While I waited for the sun to set the rain slowly started to fall, making me think about why I had brought so many water with me. To avoid more rain I skipped the sunset and started heading for home.
Today I’ll go and view another arch… said to be the biggest in the world. The arch I visited yesterday was said to be the most beautiful according to some people from Utah.
Today I arrived in Utah in some small village. First I will try and find a motel/inn/hotel and then see if there is any action around here. At the local library there is a tight regime regarding the Internet. A 15 minutes maximum… wankers.
The Rocky Mountains were very nice to see! Sadly I did not spot any bear or tiger or something like that. After a trip through the rugged park I arrived at a little hotel that was really meant for people skiing or snowboarding but because there was almost no snow there were a lot of rooms available.
The nice thing about the hotel was the welcoming package.
· A carton with a serial breakfast
· An energy bar
· A little tube with skin cream
· and…. yes…. medicines!
I’m now the happy owner of 4 asperine/cafeine mixes and for extra strong painkillers.
I did not yet eat the medicines. I think I’ll save them for when I go boarding again. :-p
Right now I’m going to have a look at the Rocky Mountains.
Yeah! I did it… :-D In the neighborhood of Denver I managed to find some gold… well, only three little pieces, and each of these pieces are smaller then the gold you find in a bottle of GoldStrike, but still!
I also noticed I need to change my clocks again! All of them need to be reset to one hour earlier.
After my search for gold I went of a trip through the ‘Caves of the Wind’. I just barely heard any wind blowing through the cave and all the stalactites and stalagmites, most of which had been removed by tourists in the past, were only visible through a big fence.
Going from Kansas City to Denver is a long drive and even more so on the map of America that I’m using. Still I don’t think it will take me two days of driving as I expected and as I told some people… I think it can be done in about eight hours.
As a little boy I can clearly remember my father one day bringing home a special type of sailor cookies. This was a backed though of about one centimeter thick and about a 6 or 8 centimeter diameter. As soon as I took a bite (which proved quite difficult) from this rock solid dry bread the tasteless substance absorbed all the saliva from my mouth and left my mouth dry. The substance slowly passed to my stomach and any feeling of hunger acutely disappeared.
The reason for the previous paragraph is that before my long trip to Denver I prepared myself my buying some bread for the trip. I bought round doughnut like pieces of bread and ham, cheese and lettuce. I wanted to make myself some BLT’s, but after the first bite I realized my mistake. The bread tasted like the ‘sailor cookie’ I remembered from my youth. The only difference being a weird sweet after taste.
Leaving Kansas was nice. Suddenly I entered an area will lots of little oil pumping machines. These little oil pumps looked funny and were like grown men toys.
Once in Colorado the little oil pumps had disappeared and now there was only grass… Enormous seas of grass everywhere.