10/9/16 (Sunday) in Holbrook, AZ (Crystal Forest Gift Shop Campground – free)
Since the gas station here had great prices ($2.29/gallon diesel), we stopped to fuel up. On our way out of the station John realized he’d forgotten retrieve his credit card from the clerk, so he got stopped before we were out on the road and ran back to get it! This place was really crowded with trucks, so naturally there was a constant line of them trying to get around our stopped rig. They managed. A beautiful rainbow greeted as we headed towards rain, growing to a full half circle as we drove toward it. Then the road turned and the rainbow was at our left. It was SO cool to see the one end flowing along the ground.
We were on I-40W by 8:18, having saved ourselves a stop along this route for fuel. The nice part of this trip is it’s on I-40W until exit 311, for the Petrified Forest National Park. Then we follow the park road to the south entrance.
Just outside that park’s south entrance gate is the Crystal Forest Gift Shop & Campground, on the east side of the road. The Gift Shop is made of and contains many wonderful petrified wood and crystallized stone specimens. Alongside of it is a level gravel lot with several sites marked by pedestals (non functioning) and some have picnic tables, plus more space for campers if needed. First come, first serve and it usually fills up as the day goes by. This time we were the only ones there until late at night a class C pulled in. They also left before we did the next morning.
So this is dry camping, much like you’d experience on BLM land, except you have a level gravel area (plus picnic table and maybe shelter). There is another camping opportunity across the road, on the west side. They have 30 amp electricity that didn’t look very reliable, for $10. Also, you need to back into the sites there while you can pull through the sites at Crystal Forest. We debated and over the convenience of the power and inconvenience of unhooking the car. John wanted the power, I just wanted to stay put. I won.
Once that decision was made and we put down jacks and slides out I realized that if we wanted to spend some time hiking in the park, we’d need to unhook the car anyway. Oh well, I took this as a challenge to conserve battery power. We must be more careful than those prepared for lots of dry camping. We don’t have the solar power that they do (we just have 100 watts) plus our residential refrigerator is only electric.
Thus I’d say our day would be described as very lazy/quiet and frugal. After our lunch of peanut butter sandwiches we read, then I napped as John read, then we played “Fast Track”. For our walk around the campground we walked up the road to the park entrance then turned back because we hadn’t brought our Senior Pass to get in. Along the edge of the road was feces. We surmised it was from coyotes, because it looked more like dog poo, with lots of grass in it. Really can’t see many people walking their dogs on this road. There were cute rabbits in the campground.
We turned the generator on for supper, watched the Presidential Debate, then went to bed early, at least by Arizona time. New Mexico time (stomach time as we put it) was 10 then, but for Arizona (MST) it was 9.