LooseCrew-JeffO: Zane Gray 50 - Part I


Ramblings of an adventurous guy living in Denver and playing in the mountains.
For my trail adventures, visit my Trail Bum blog

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Zane Gray 50 - Part I

What a Weekend!! I had SO much fun.
I had my ass handed to me during the race, but I still did okay, considering my inability to get any decent training this season.

I left straight from work Wednesday night and parked off I-25. The spot was not fenced, and was closer to some railroad tracks than a fence 80 feet away. Still, just as I was about to get comfy, a pickup rolled up in the moonless night and told me I was on private property. I apologized but said it looked like railroad land. He asked if I was camping. I told him I was sleeping in the back of my CR-V and hitting the road when the sun comes up. He abruptly told me it was okay and drove off. Three trains woke me during the night, 30 feet away, but I fell asleep instantly.

The next day, I headed down to old Fort Union. This fort is one of the more important ones that shaped the West, and played an important role in the Civil War.

I'm surprised that there's very little left of it.
Also, it is one of the few forts that was built three times. The first one was thrown up quickly, as most forts are. But so was the second one, with apparently even less skill. It was the third fort that was made "well", but since they used adobe, there's not much left.

Then I went on to see the Petrified Forest in Arizona. The last time I had seen the Petrified Forest was 31 years ago, when I was 8. I-40 didn't fully exist. My family took the original Route 66 for much of the way.
I'd forgotten the indian ruins and petroglyphs.

The trees were stunning. There were so many thousands of them, and that's only the few that errosion has uncovered so far.

This little rascal was hired by the Park Service to clean up any food dropped by tourists.

The colors are purely coicidental. Funny how they seem to match the colors of a typical Poderosa Pine, but the color of petrified organisms is determined more by the minerals in the surrounding sediments. But the apparent close match sure does have a spooky-eerie realism. I wonder how many pioneers and Native people threw a rock log in a fire, refusing to believe it couldn't burn?

I knew I wasn't going to get another chance to bathe before the race, and I stank already, so I splurged for a motel in Holbrook, AZ.

Race report next time.
Wow, what a contrast between these photos and my last post!


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