http-equiv='refresh'/> Tin TeePee/Log Cabin: Goodbye Elfrida Hello Petrified Forest NP

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Goodbye Elfrida Hello Petrified Forest NP

Michael had everything outside finished last night except pulling in the extension cord.  I had all ready put away items I normally store when moving such as photos in frames, etc.  So, it was an easy morning for getting on the road.  I fed the birds one last time then Emmi and I  took off walking up the road, Michael pulled out of the Lazy W just after 7:30am picking Emmi and I up about a mile later. 

Many years ago we decided to go home to Montana in the spring via highway 191 which would take you all the way to Big Timber—in most places it is a nice two lane road except outside the town of Safford.  That one time we decided to go up 191 from Safford we came to a sign that said road not recommended for rigs over 40 feet.  At that time we had a truck and 5th wheel making us about 50 feet long.  The Morenci Mine is located just outside Safford and I can remember miners having their coffee breaks giving us incredulous looks as we blissfully and ignorantly went on our way.

What the sign didn’t say is that the road is incredibly steep with multiple switchbacks, I think I remember it taking us hours and hours and hours to drive 81 miles!!!! 

Today we chose a different route after consulting with our friends Jim and Linda who used to travel all over the country in a truck and 5th wheel.  Out of Safford we headed up 191 to Guthrie then took 78 over into New Mexico.  Same kind of sign—Road Not Recommended For Rigs Over 40 Feet—we are now 65 feet long—but we knew someone who had been over this road and off we went.  The road was fairly steep in places with very tight switchbacks—it was a good thing the road wasn’t busy cause our rear end was coming around to meet the front on some of those switchbacks!  It only took us 45 minutes to go the 20 miles of this part of the road—much better!  The almost 300 miles we drove today was through gorgeous country—strange rock formations, high mountains, lakes, tall pine trees and even a snow drift or two.IMG_6311 IMG_6316 IMG_6320 IMG_6324 IMG_6325

Tonight we are parked just outside the south gate to the Petrified Forest National Park—there is a museum/store which has RV parking, free if you don’t use electric, $10/night if you do.   IMG_6330 Gina, just look at all that petrified wood with crystallized quartz, jasper and chalcedony in the wood.  The colors of some are just gorgeous.

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Tomorrow we will drive through the Petrified Forest on our way to Bluff, Utah where we will spend several days doing day trips to Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Mesa Verde National Park, Canyonlands National Park, etc.  I’m excited—we get to sightsee this year instead of blazing on home!!


  1. I loved the Petrified Forest and bought a whole lot of rocks in the gift shop. I still have some now. You are very courageous to drive that road with your long rig. Glad you did OK.

  2. Those rocks are absolutely gorgeous. Glad you made it safely to your destination.

  3. That drive makes me glad my new little RV is 24 feet. You are 41 feet longer! WOW. That would take some driving, glad you made it!

  4. safe travels on your next leg of your trip!!..good job on the switchbacks!!

  5. We have never taken 191 back to MT so I'm going to be excited to read about how you are traveling. We may have to try it out either going or coming. Those are all places I want to see also. And we definitely sightsee on our way north.

  6. All the little ranch birds are going to miss you guys. I felt so sad for them when we left Elfrida. I wonder if Jim & Rene are still across the road at Ingrids. They used to walk over & feed the guys sometimes too. Sounds like some pretty harrowing roads up around the Safford way. That's an area on our list that we haven't been to yet. We tried to stretch out our homeward trek but once we left Canyon De Chelly we just felt like it was time to head on home.

  7. Nice place to park for free I couldn't get Gina to stay there two years ago she wanted full hookups. Glad to hear you and Michael had a safe drive. We bought a petrified rock when we were there. It sits out by the swing for everyone to see. Enjoy your drive through the Petrified Forest today. I'll be looking for that great photo of the painted desert this evening.

    Rollie & Gina

  8. Glad you're going to do a little sight seeing on your way back north. :) Utah is certainly the place to do that.

  9. Your petrified rock pics are awesome! Yes, awesome!

    Good job of negotiating those switchbacks with your long rig!


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