The painted desert is a gem of Route 66….. although the official road of Route 66 was ripped out when the state park took over the land. Now all that remains are the telephone poles that dotted the street.
Though some would consider this statement to be blasphemy, we loved the painted desert more than the grand canyon. The colors are just breath-taking and you feel as if you are driving on the surface of Mars. Plus, the grand canyon is so vast that you just can’t take it all in. With the painted desert, the scenery is not overwhelming.
The interesting thing about the Painted Desert is that you travel throughout 20-some miles of constantly altering landscape. Like most drive-through national parks, there are stops every few miles where you can get out and take a closer look… photo vantage-points, if you will. At literally every single turn-off we took, there was one raven. Only one raven. It always seemed to be the same exact raven too. At one stop, it hopped towards the car even as we honked the horn. It wanted to come with us, apparently. My mom also swears that she heard a distinct “NEVER MORE” during one of his more vocal screeching. If anything, he definitely said “WRONG WAY”……..
We also really wanted to ask him why a raven was like a writing desk, but he didn’t stand still enough to hear us out. He had to get a head start to beat us to each successive stop!