I’ve heard stories since my early days about how my grandpa, Captain John L. Kidd crashed a small plane into the crater in 1964. He and the person he was flying with broke their backs, the other guy dragged him out of the plane just before it exploded – in gratitude, grandpa sent him to pilot school. There are still a few remnants at the bottom of the crater, and we saw them glinting in the sun. Unfortunately they no longer allow people to hike down, but we did go on a tour at the rim and the tour guide told the story of my grandpa, he’s famous!
Other than that, the crater is fascinating in it’s own right (surprise surprise). It’s amazing to think that a 150 foot space rock (mostly iron & nickel) came crashing down and put a mile diameter hole, 800 feet deep into the ground of an otherwise flat desert. They had a piece of the meteor on display (about the size of me curled in a ball) in the museum, it was the biggest piece they found, most of it was vaporized on impact.
We spent the night at Picacho State Park, it was beautiful and desert-like with a lot of different cacti. The main attraction though was that they had free showers at the campground. The first one I attempted to use had a centipede run out of the water… I moved on to the next shower, which was wonderful, especially after days of camping. The next morning, Steve found a tarantula in the sink… my first wild tarantula sighting, just in time for Halloween! Glad I wasn’t the one to find it.
One of the destinations in mind for this trip was the Meteor Crater near Winslow Arizona. And yes, every time I think of it, I get the song "Take it easy" by the Eagles stuck in my head… “standing on the corner in Winslow Arizona, such a fine sight to see…” and now it's stuck in your head too. HA!