Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

The Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest – Crossing into Arizona

Leaving Albuquerque, we are delighted to be taking I-40 going West; it’s like everyone else is on I-40 coming East. The drive is smooth, a little road work here and there, but nothing that holds us up in any major way. We cross the continental divide (where all the rivers on the east side flow to the Gulf of Mexico, and those on the West side flow into the Pacific) and we wonder what the divide is called, if anything, that divides rivers flowing into the Gulf of Mexico from rivers flowing into the Atlantic?

We are driving along the old Highway 66, too, which is fun, seeing the nostalgic old signs and relics from the 40’s and 50’s, when Route 66 was in its heyday and there weren’t big interstates fully functioning.

From Carlsbad, where we saw temperatures up to 99° F, we have dropped considerably, and hit the road with a temperature around 45°, which rises as we drive toward the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest. When we arrive, it is in the 80’s (F) and a bright, partly cloudy day. The colors and the scenery are unimaginable.

I included this one because it made me laugh. These signs are necessary; Americans are inclined to wander off the trail, it’s in our nature, and we need these signs to make us more careful where we are stepping 🙂

As we leave the Painted Desert trail and head into the Petrified Forest area, the weather starts getting seriously complicated and the temperatures start dropping:

I’ve never seen a toilet like this before. It’s amazing:

At the risk of giving you too much information, whatever goes into the toilet evaporates due to the constant wind action. Whoever sits on the toilet has the unusual experience of having a wind-dried bottom:

We start moving a little faster, not lingering as the weather changes:

Can you see how the light has changed? Just after taking this, huge raindrops started falling and we continued on to the end of the Petrified Forest. The temperature dropped to 45° (F)

April 29, 2012 - Posted by | Adventure, Beauty, Cultural, ExPat Life, Road Trips, Weather | , , ,


  1. I believe it is called the longitudinal divide. We cross it when we drive from Goshen IN to South Bend IN. Are you going to be in our neck of the woods long enough to get together?

    Comment by momcatwa | May 3, 2012 | Reply

  2. Wow! Thats an amazingly adventurous trip!:-) and the pictures bring out the mood and the feel so vividly, as always! Wishing you loads of more fun along the way!

    Comment by mysandcastles | May 3, 2012 | Reply

  3. MomCat – Long enough to clean out our Mom’s condo – she has moved. My sisters and I have a lot of work to do . . . maybe some time towards the end? Let’s talk 🙂

    Thanks, SandCastles; more coming once I sort out all the catching up stuff that follows a long road trip. 🙂

    Comment by intlxpatr | May 4, 2012 | Reply

    • Ok! That was me actually! 🙂
      More lovely pics..shall start the virtual tour now!

      Comment by mysandcastles | May 4, 2012 | Reply

  4. LOL, Yes, I knew it was you. 🙂 More photos and trip ideas coming . . .

    Comment by intlxpatr | May 5, 2012 | Reply

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