Friday, October 17, 2014

Day 4: Meteor Crater, Petrified Forest, Turquoise Room

This day was Mitch's birthday! We went to Meteor Crater which was very interesting, and learned the history of the crater, the people who studied it, and how science advanced due to their work. We touched an actual piece of the meteor and saw a test capsule.
At Homolovi State Park, we saw a ruin on a mesa with potsherds on the ground from when the Puebloans lived there.
Then we went to the Petrified Forest, which was wonderful! The petrified wood looks like agate. It formed when the area was a swamp. Trees that fell were moved into piles by water and covered with mud and volcanic ash. The water dissolved the silica in the ash and that seeped into the tree cells and petrified them.  They sunk even deeper in the mud. Later, geologic upheaval pushed the trees to the surface, which is why they are in pieces. It's fascinating. We had a good hike there and drove at dusk through the Painted Desert.
Hot and sweaty, we still braved our way into the Turquoise Room which is a restaurant in La Posada hotel in Wislow with a James Beard award winning chef. There, we had piki bread, a Hopi specialty that the restaurant purchases from one woman. It's made from blue cornmeal and thickened with ashes from burning bean plants. The thin batter is cooked on a stone. It was light like phyllo dough (without the butter) and brittle. It came with tepary bean hummus. Traditionally, piki bread is served with a tepary bean soup. We finished off the meal with a birthday double chocolate soufflĂ©.
In Winslow, it was fun to see the Wigwam Motel and a second hotel with a neon sign that reads: "Sleeping on the corner in Winslow, Arizona. TV, tubs, showers, refrigeration."


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