2011 Summer Vacation, Day 12

We left Phoenix early Sunday and headed North to Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, the largest travertine bridge in the world.  The “trail” goes along the bottom of the canyon:

 

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At last we reached the natural bridge.  A spring dissolved the limestone canyon wall, and the dissolved limestone came out of solution to form a travertine dam across the canyon.  The creek at the bottom of the canyon then wore through the dam to form the natural bridge.  There’s some nice diagrams here.

The hole is 187 feet tall, so the travertine wall must be about 500 feet high:

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Textures and contrast:

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Trish and the kids are on the right side of the photograph:

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Looking back the way we came.  The tunnel is 400 feet long. There was quite a bit of water seeping down through the ceiling:

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A surface creek cascades over the edge:

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There was a side trail to a nice little waterfall:

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Saw this rice-grain-sized spider on the handrail.  He appears to have caught something:

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Heading back up:

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Continuing north, we crossed the Mogollon Rim and stopped at Meteor Crater.  It’s 3/4 of a mile across.  Click on the image for full resolution:

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Tasty rock:

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M looks around:

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Storms on the horizon:

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Heading west on I-40, we visited the ruins of Two Guns, Arizona.  There was a zoo and other attractions here until I-40 was laid down, at which time Route 66 was decertified.

Route 66 bridge:

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Abandoned buildings:

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Checking out the zoo enclosures:

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The sky grew stormy, but as the sun approached the horizon it punched through, so the ground was brighter than the sky:

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The zoo entrance back in the day:http://lookbeforeyoulive.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/zoo.jpg

 

…And now:

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Leaving at sunset, we continued West to dispersed camping in the Coconino National Forest, just outside Walnut Canyon National Monument.

We drove 244 miles today.  Tonto Natural Bridge SP (B), Meteor Crater (C), Two Guns (D):

image

2011 Summer Vacation, Days 10 and 11
2011 Summer Vacation, Day 13

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