THE ROCKS THAT MADE THE DAY:
Our guide then went on explaining the types of rock formations found in the crater. On the outer rim one could find Coconino Sandstone (sandstone formed 265 million years ago); Toroweap Formation (limestone formed 255 million years ago); Kaibab Formation (dolomite formed 250 million years ago);and Moenkopi Formation (mudstone formed 245 million years ago).
It came at a speed of …well …the time it takes to reach Los Angeles to New York in 5 minutes. . The explosion created by its impact was equal to 2.5 megatons of TNT, or about 150 times the force of the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.
This is the last installment in the travelogue on Meteor Crater Arizona, part of our family road trip through the states of Arizona, Texas Utah and Nevada in western USA … You can read it from the beginning. Click Here …
Standing there with the guide and other visitors the experience was slightly different. On this side of the rim there was no barrier to keep us from looking down or sliding down or even jumping down. One jump and that would be the end of dear life. That way it was a little dangerous for children. In fact while going with our guide towards the rim the grumpy guide of the previous entourage that was coming back ,had time enough to pause for a few seconds and advise an enthusiastic parent in our group ,not to carry his toddler on his shoulder. Poor parent as well as our poor guide who was too preoccupied leading us ,was a little intimidated by this sudden intervention on Mr.Grumpy’s part.
Anyway the rim of the meteor crater being expansive on this side I took a lot of photos and posed at our guide’s request at a strategic point to be captured for eternity with the crater!
THE SOLE REMNANT
After the tour we went back inside the centre. It was cool inside and everybody was waiting for me. Just to pass time we fooled around with a big chunk of crater …the only piece found intact from the blast- which looked like a big ,black ,shiny piece of porous rock ,posing in front of it, pretending to pick it up and making faces not being able to .The next thing that had to be seen was the curio shop-a must for every woman I guess!! Got a few knickknacks from there, Rhonda got a few gifts for us and we headed out satisfied with our visit. While going back we went past the Hall of Fame and Capsule again and appreciated their significance all the more this time. Well get ready all you space buddies for expedition to Mars !! The meteor crater is there to help you in your training!!
While leaving I had to stop in front of the picturesque brick wall again and look out into the vast expanse in front of me questioning the purpose of the window…..on the one hand there is this gigantic hole- creating a dent, a scar on the beautiful earth’s face- and on the other hand there is earth itself whose beauty is made all the more prominent when viewed through the window. That was it! Now I understood. The picture perfect view complemented the aberration created on the surface of earth by a foreign body …. a sort of consolation, assuring us no matter how destructive nature can be it is simply minuscule compared to the abundance of nature we already have.