Wednesday, 28 August 2013

221 Meteor Crater

Monday 26th August 2013
Miles Today 0 Total   18,871

A lazy start and a meet up with the guys at a bar named 'The Harley Davidson Bar'. Also known by me as the 'Slow crap bike bar' - just don't tell the other guys, they are mostly on Harleys - Doh !. 

Some of the group that had been to the Grand Canyon were having problems (one of the Harleys broke down) and we waited at the bar all afternoon as it was an iconic place that they could find easily. Will that do for an excuse to sit in a bar all day ? Add to that the fact that it rained all day - again.

Anyway, some of the Grand Canyon gang arrived but the broken down Harley had not resolved itself yet and the rider was still in Flagstaff.

Another early night and no photographs taken - sorry. We promise to try harder tomorrow.

Tuesday 27th August 2013
Miles Today 18  Total 18,889 
Another slow start. We sat doing some computer admin, e-mails and blog etc as we were waiting for a parcel to be delivered to the local Yamaha dealer. At 1 pm I set off for the shop which was a bout 9 miles away. I collected the parts which contained mainly service parts but also a frame that holds the headlight and screen together. It had been broken by the pheasant collision a couple of months ago and we had not realised the hidden damage that had been done.

Pics ofc Sin City........

After getting the parts is was off to the an Irish bar to meet up with our friends again. It was a great night  out and we rounded it out with a cab ride up the Las Vegas strip at night. It was serious tinsel town. The thing about Vegas is that it is one of those places that you can only take the "full on", in your face, falseness of the place for a couple of day after that, it gets extremely boring. Everywhere you go there are wall to wall slot machines and gambling tables. 

Wednesday 28th August 2013
Miles Today 119  Total 19,008

An early start today (for us anyway). We were wheels rolling at 9am and off towards Death Valley. It was hot and I mean Hot. the journey there was around 40 degrees but the desert scenery was beautiful. We arrived at our pre-booked desert cabin at around 2pm. It was starting to get really hot now but I needed to fit the new screen frame on to the bike. The temperature was now topping out at 49C (120F) and it was seriously difficult to work.  

Saturday 24th August 2013
Miles Today 95  Total   18,871

Using the car we set off for the Meteor Crater near Winslow AZ. 
An overview courtesy of Wikkipedia.
After a boring 40 mile dash along Interstate 40 we arrived there and the crator was very educational. 
Between 75 and 150 feet across, a meteor slammed into the Arizona desert around 50,000 years ago at a velocity of around 26,000 miles per hour. I dunno how they figure this out but it was good enough for me.
Although the presence of the crator has been known for a long time (by the Indians too) it was a long time before they actually realised what it was or how it was formed.

It was at first thought that the crator was an old volcano and then a mining engineer named Daniel Barringer believed that it may be from a large iron meteor and small local nuggets of iron found locally helped in this theory. 

The crator is immense and is 4000 feet across. A video we were shown superimposed the business part of a city completely within tit. The works area just right of center was the mining works, left in place for historical reasons. The black dot is a boiler. Shown better in a lower photo.
Barringer staked a claim on the land and began mining. Sadly his estimate as to how much iron was there was a lot more than the actual amount present. Barringer mined for 27 years not knowing that most of the meteorite vapourised on impact so no big lump existed. He originally estimated the lump to be about 100 million tons. Worth a lot of money in 1903. The current estimate of iron is more like 0.3% of what was originally thought to be there and is therefore not worth the effort to mine.

The black dot from the above photo. This object is 15' long x 10' wide. It give some idea of the scale of the crator.
 The venue is now a tourist attraction and is still run and owned by the Berringer family and the NASA astronauts came here to attempt to understand the dynamics of crator impacts for the lunar landings and soil sampling.

The wall of rock that surrounds the crator is actually the bed rock of the surrounding area that has been pushed up and out forming the crater ring,

This crator is not the biggest found throughout the world but is the best preserved. The reason being that this area of Arizona only has an average of 7" of rain per year and the crater has not been eroded and leveled out like most of the others.

Karen posing with the biggest chunk of iron found so far. It weighs 1400lbs (about 630kg)
After leaving the crator and hot footing it back to Flagstaff we set about our laundry and then waited for a call from some friends who were doing route 66. We popped into a bar called the 'Museum Club' for a beer whilst waiting for our laundry. We had been here last night and suffered some of the worst karaoke in the world. 

It was a great place despite the Karaoke.
We made contact with our friends and arranged to meet in town whereupon we met in an Irish bar called 'Collins'. Oddly, Michel Collins (who we believe the bar was named after) was one of the original members of the IRA. Not my favorite bunch of guys.

After a beer or two, the 7 of us moved on looking for a bar with a band. We went to one venue and were refused entry as we did not have our passports with us. We had lots of other forms of government ID but not passports. The doorman was having none of it so we told him what we thought of his manager, left and found a more friendly venue, departing there at around midnight.

Sunday 25th August 2013  
Miles Today 263  Total   19,134

We awoke to the sound of running water. It was tipping down with rain. The weather report stated we were in for a tropical storm to pass through and it would last for a couple of days. Normal service is resumed.

We set off early and rode across town to where our friends were based, we got soaked driving the 4 miles. At around 9:30 we drove off West towards Williams, where we had been at the animal park 2 days ago. Once there the group split and some, including us, drove straight to Las Vegas and the others drove to see the Grand Canyon. We decided that we had seen it enough and were a bit fed up with the rain. There were flood warnings in force for the whole of Arizona and Las Vegas.

We stopped at the Hoover dam just before Vegas. The weather had abated a bit and allowed us to take a couple of pictures.

The last time we saw this we were with Mum and flying over it in a Helicopter.

Despite the weather, there was a drought in the area.

 We moved on to Las Vegas and found our hotel, the 'Planet Hollywood'. It had been a long.wet and tiring day so after popping out for a bite to eat we were in bed for 9pm.

A break in the weather, short lived unfortunately.

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