Out West Vacation 2010: Meteor Crater

Vacation, Day 2:  our next stop involved another big hole in the ground, but it was quite a bit different from the Grand Canyon.

It was Meteor Crater, about 30 miles from Flagstaff, Arizona. It’s the largest preserved meteorite crater in the world. Remember, in the air it’s a meteor. Once it hits, it becomes a meteorite.

Meteor Crater ArizonaYes, it was really big. Almost a mile across and over 500 feet deep (and they said it was originally 150  feet deeper – it has filled in over the years). Amazingly, when the meteor hit, this entire crater took only 10 seconds to form. We learned that astronauts had trained there years ago (it was considered good practice for being on the moon’s surface). It was also the site of some movies, notably “Starman” and a couple of others whose names escape me (I hadn’t seen any of them).

As is often the case, it was our tour guide who made the visit really memorable. Eduardo told us that he lived in an apartment at the crater site along with a few other employees (makes sense, since it’s pretty remote). He had a great sense of humor. He was so excited, sharing that he got to say a few things in an upcoming History Channel program on the crater.

Meteor Crater Eduardo tour guideAt the end of his talk, he even offered to take photos of anyone in the group who wanted. He left us with the counsel to “keep looking up – because you just never know!” At first, I was thinking, Cool! A Jesus reference – he must be a Christian! and then it hit me that he was referring to the meteor. Oh, well :).

Meteor Crater

4 thoughts on “Out West Vacation 2010: Meteor Crater

  1. Well, as often happens when I’m reading your pieces, I’ve learned something today. Didn’t know that a meteor becomes a meteorite once it hits the ground. Glad you had a good tour guide.

  2. You can find good people in so many spots around our land. I hope you got across to Eduardo how much his words enhanced the visit. If so, it may have made his day.

  3. Umm, I think he is a Christian. He was a wonderful tour guide & so entertaining! So glad we stumbled upon this place!

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