After our Hotel Monte Vista letdown, we hightailed it out of Flagstaff without so much as seeing the Grand Canyon. When the landscape started to flatten out, SVV turned to me and said: “I wonder if this is where that big crater impact took place?” Huh? I clearly missed mention of that in science class! (That’s no big surprise actually, as science was always my poorest subject and I often daydreamed my way right through those classes.)
But he turned out to be right (of course), and we would be driving right past Meteor Crater in just eight miles. So we eschewed one hole in the ground and stopped to take a gander at another (albeit less impressive) one.
From the road it didn’t look like much.
Actually, from inside it didn’t look like much either. No matter how you look at it, it is just a big hole in the ground (and I’m not entirely sure it’s worth the $15 admission fee per person).
That said, it’s not every day that you witness a crater that’s 4,000 feet across and 2.4 miles in circumference. The floor is 550 feet deep, and the meteor that created the hole was but a baby: 150 feet across. Though when you’re traveling at the speed of 26,000 miles per hour (whoa, Nelly!), I guess it doesn’t matter how petite a rock you are—you’re going to do some serious damage.
As the crater literature said: “imagine 20 football games being played simultaneously on its floor while more than two million spectators observe from its sloping side.” Sports references: Now those are something I understand!
Still, we managed to kill more than an hour anyway, milling about the grounds and in the museum—and taking a picture of Ella and me “on the moon,” naturally.
The best part of the whole thing, however, was at the entrance/exit.
I mean, really, it’s not every day you get to witness the “First Proven Best Preserved Impact Site on Earth.” (Though the grammar and punctuation—or lack thereof—on the sign about killed me.)
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The meteor crater looks like a very odd and interesting place. Just as importantly 🙂 – my 10-year-old just saw the last photo and is officially madly in love with your dog. Bichon?
She’s a Maltese! Such a great breed for kids–she’s particularly fond of little girls ages 6 through 12 =)
Show me your biggest, tallest, world famous, or best whatever – I’m all about that kind of kitsch. But I just could not swallow the $15 entrance fee for that one!
Love this . . . and it must be something about guys . . . this was one of the few things my hubby requested we see when we went to Arizona. Weird, huh? What is it about huge holes in the ground?
Haaaaa, I would have never even considered stopping had Scott not been so adamant about it! I have no idea what fascinates dudes about rocks and holes and dirt!
Dudes like things that are metal, dirty and go boom.
I remembering taking a trip to Meteor Crater with my aunt when my sister and I were (rather moody and grumpy) 16-year-olds! It was kind of cool but at the same time, really just a hole in the ground…though back in the ’90s I’m pretty sure there was no admission fee, cuz $15 sounds slightly outrageous! Ps. I love following your cross country adventures!
We thought the same! I figured it would be $5 or $6 max, but $15?!? We almost walked away, but seeing as we had done ZERO tourist attractions on this trip, we thought we’d splurge for a change =)
I just love your posts – and your photography is amazing!!
Thanks for sharing with us!
Hahahahah….how can you NOT love First Proven Best Preserved Impact Site on Earth? Awesomesauce.
Their marketing’s not bad, as that sign alone piqued my interest and had me driving down that long dusty road!
I went there as a kid and thought it was pretty cool. Then I watched Starman, and I wanted to go back!
$15 is a lot for a hole in the ground. still, how cool to have seen it up close!
It’s privately owned–the government wouldn’t get away with charging that for a meteor site (I don’t think?)! We didn’t pay nearly that much for some of the national parks we visited this summer!
Love love the first picture!! Well, I have never seen one up close so we might probably be a sucker and pay for it too. 🙂
I really really really love that top photo.
I must have been daydreaming in science class too. When do they figure this meteor hit the Earth?
50,000 years ago!
what happened to the meteor when it crashed? did it disinigrate on landing or something? don’t know if you know that answer (but given that you did read the literature 🙂 maybe you do. just curious…
I do know that! They never found the actual meteor–just a couple rocks here and there–you’re right, they think a lot of it disintegrated. Though small pieces and pebbles were sprayed all over the countryside for MILES.
I’m impressed that such a relatively small meteor could make such a wide hole. This is probably a really dumb thing to admit, but I’d assumed that the crater would be the size of the rock…I’m not sure where I thought the rock went to just leave the divot. I wasn’t bad at science, but clearly I also was daydreaming on meteor day!
But what happens to the rock when it hits? Does it break into a million little pieces? SVV?
(I was not much of a scientist my own self 😉
They don’t really know is the odd part! They think a big chunk of it might have disintegrated, but several small pieces and debris were found miles away!
Based on the angle of inclination they think most of it is buried a few miles deep. Injected into the earth as a million little fragments. The rest vaporized or was scattered across the land as metallic rain.
That 1st shot is so cool!
That first photo belongs on your wall blown up HUGE.
Hmmm . . . yeah, I think my husband and kids would think that hole’s cool, but I would probably pass on it.
$15 for the crater? Does that pay for it being the first proven best preserved impact crater??
I don’t know if it’d be worth the $15 for me either, really, but it’s still a cool sight to see! Ella looks like she wants to go exploring 😉
I think it’s pretty cool! At least it’s bragging rites… you can say you’ve been to the first proven best preserved impact crater on earth!
Well, at $15 per entry, they are making good money. 🙂 It does look worth a visit.