John and Sandy's RV Adventure Journal

Tag Archive: Natl Park

Canyon TX

We headed to Buffalo Lake Natl Wildlife Refuge today. It looks like a nice area and lots of wildlife. When we got there we found out there were no buffalo’s and the lake dried up in 1979. There was an 11 mile scenic drive so we took that for a few miles. Pretty much driving on a gravel road with fields and a few trees here and there. We turned around and were lucky to see a mama deer with her baby. They posed for us and then took off. A few minutes later we saw a few more deer. We also saw a rabbit and on the way out we saw some buffalo on a ranch. So we did get some wildlife. We are heading out tomorrow morning, so we did our pre-departure day stuff and had an early evening.

Paraje NM

       Today is another drive day. We explored the East side of El Malpais Natl Monument. We stopped at the Sandstone overlook and then at the Arch. There was a 1 mile hike inland toward the arch we took. This area is just so open and beautiful with the sandstone cliffs and lava rocks all around. We stopped at the Rim trail and John did about 1 mile round trip. I stayed back because the beginning of the hike was a steep climb up uneven rocks.
       Now we headed back but stopped at Sky City Casino for a while. We got home and finished our pre-departure day stuff. I walked next door to our casino Dancing Eagle for a while.

Paraje NM

        We were out by 9am to explore. The area here is so vast there is a lot of mileage between things to see. So we headed first for the El Malpais Natl Monument Visitors Center. We talked to a ranger for a while and she gave us a lot of good info on the park and also El Morrow NM. We watched a couple movies on the area and then started our drive. It was a 20 mile drive to the visitors center and now about 45 miles from here to El Morrow.
      On the way we drive through El Malpais. At El Morrow there is a 1 mile hike along the bottom and we got to see hundreds of petroglyths. John took the additional 2 mile hike up to the top of the rock to see the native dwellings. I hung out at the visitors center and listened to a ranger talk on the history of the area and why it is a Natl Monument.
      When John got back we had a picnic and started our drive back. It was later in the afternoon with overcast skies and some rain showers. Along the way we saw a big herd of female Elks with their babies.


Holbrook AZ

        Today we headed up to the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert National Parks. Even though they have different names, the parks are combined. We started on the North side at the visitors center and watched a movie on the parks.
        The drive through the parks is about 30 miles. Along the way there are various overlooks and places to do short hikes. We stopped to see the refurbished Painted Desert Inn. This was also a Harvey House Hotel in the 50’s. Another stop was the old Studebaker where old RT 66 was. Looking at it you wouldn’t have known there was ever a road there. We also stopped to walk along some old pueblo dwellings and see hundreds of petroglyphs.