I have taken numerous road trips along Highway 40 aka Main Street America and Old Route 66 aka the Mother Road . There are many quirky and incredible sites along this stretch of highway from concrete tee-pees and dinosaurs, to the Grand Canyon, and the Petrified Forrest.
In Winslow, Arizona there is the Meteor Crater Natural Landmark which truly is in the middle of nowhere. I never gave myself the opportunity to stop at the crater within the twenty years that I had driven past it. Then there was one year that I did, I pulled off the road and visited the Meteor Crater.
Unless you are road tripping through Arizona, along Highway 40, and have a couple of hours to spare; more than likely this place will not be on your To-do Travel List. It seriously took me 20 years to finally see it because I made it a priority to see a big hole in the ground.
I may be speaking of this landmark in a joking manner but it was quite fascinating. For those who are space enthusiasts this site may be something that interests you. The crater was created 50,000 years ago by a nickel-iron meteorite about 160 feet (50 meters) across. The crater was discovered in the 19th century by American settlers, and it soon came to the attention of scientists. This meteor crater was given several early names including “Coon Mountain,” “Meteor Mountain” and “Meteor Crater”.
The crater is not protected as a national monument, since it is privately owned by the Barringer family through their Barringer Crater Company. Although in November of 1967, the crater was designated a National Natural Landmark.
Before viewing the crater from one of several lookout points, you can visit a small Space Center and Discovery Museum. The Meteor Crater Natural Landmark facilities are well thought through for those who decide to get off the highway. There is a pet kennel, a café, restrooms, and guided tours.
Was it worth the twenty years of me waiting? Sure, it was cool to see and my natural curiosity of stranger things had been fed. Call it what you will, a meteor crater or a big hole in the ground, this site was one of those odd and incredible places to visit off “Main Street America”.
For more information and ticketing, please visit Meteor Crater & Barringer Space Museum
Take my way, that’s the highway, that’s the best– Chuck Berry
Get your kicks on Route 66
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