THE FIRST LOOK:
There was an exit on the left which lead to the deck and to the three viewing posts on the rim of Meteor Crater, Arizona . One was a little up to the north and the one a little below was shaded so I went to the middle one which protruded over the Crater and saw the Meteor Crater for the first time .Not only was it huge-almost the size of twenty football fields according to the information given- but it was very neatly preserved .The rim was covered with boulders ,all smashed, shattered ,jumbled, and cluttered, some of them resembling huddled up elephant calves, and it rose 150 feet above the level of the surrounding plain. The crater itself was nearly a mile wide, and 570 feet deep but it wasn’t possible to go down into the crater or walk along the rim except for the limited access through a door on the right side of the visitor’s center. According to the info given the rim was about 2.5 miles around so anybody could easily have walked around it to fully understand its magnitude but that was not allowed and people had to take in whatever they could from the areas chosen for them.
To compensate for that ,I guess , quite a few telescopes were put up on the deck through which you could see different parts of the crater with various exhibits and objects placed inside the crater to give the viewers a sense of size and perspective. A lot of plaques had been put up at strategic positions to give as much information as possible.
There was a cave somewhere on one side, a huge rock, a fenced area, a broken airplane, an astronaut figure holding the US flag –all at the bottom of the crater, and other such displays which looked like tiny dots and blurs through the naked eye but which were visible only when we looked through the telescopes.
The six foot cutout of the astronaut holding a 3×5 foot flag didn’t seem too far away to me through the telescope but when I took my eye away from the telescope and stared at what I knew was the right area and couldn’t find them it really gave me an idea of the depth of the crater . It took me quite a few seconds to realize that the flag and the spaceman were just a dot and a blur.
Another telescope identified a rock the size of a house, that just didn’t seem big enough to be a house but inside the museum there was a picture of the same rock with a woman on a horse next to it. The woman was just one-third the size of the rock.
The cave was man-made and seemed like a tiny pinhole when seen without a telescope.
The fenced area contained remnants of rock drills and tunneling equipment on the crater floor which could be seen through one telescope. These were used a long time back to search for a large deposit of meteoric iron, the iron that the meteor was composed of.
The three viewpoints were the only places from which you could see the Meteor crater, and from one of them I could also see the tour group which had left me behind. I strained my eyes to see if Titir was there. I saw Samit and tried hard to remember what coloured T-shirt Titir was wearing. To my relief I saw a smaller sized person wearing a mauve coloured one –the one that I remembered she had worn.