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So we grabbed a hotel in the tiny town of Holbrook, AZ with the intent of going to the Petrified Forest (30 miles down the road) the following morning. Upon calling the park's information line, we found that it opened at 7, so we left around 6 with the intent of grabbing breakfast along the way. We began to notice that although it was past 6 on a Thursday morning, not a single place was open; this struck us as rather odd. What seemed even stranger was a local radio station's announcement that it was currently 5:30. So after consulting a guide book, we found that unlike every other state I'm familiar with, Arizona chooses not to observe Daylight's Savings Time, and given the time of year, we had erred when we had set our clocks an hour ahead for Mountain Time. Though I don't understand the point of this yearly time adjustment, I think it might have been better if the state had coordinated its decision with the rest of the world.

After sitting at the gate, cursing the name of this dissident state for ten minutes, we came to the conclusion that we had seen enough petrified wood at the surrounding shops, in roadside decorations and in landfills (they're plagued with the stuff here, they try to unload it on unsuspecting tourists, but they can't get rid of it fast enough), that we could safely continue on without missing much. On the road back to the interstate we saw a coyote feasting on what appeared to be a jackrabbit with antlers, as well as several hundred fake dinosaurs scattered out over a dozen miles that seemed to have no purpose whatsoever.

When we got to the north entrance of the petrified park, it was only 10 minutes til opening, so we decided to check it out. We drove to the different vistas for the painted desert and did what hiking we could given the 40 degree temperatures and gale-force winds (there was a high near 80 and snow predicted for the following night); interestingly enough, the park was the only place within fifty miles with no petrified wood whatsoever.

Next we drove a few hundred miles down I40 to the largest city in New Mexico, Albuquerque. Here was located the Petroglyph National Monument, which was essentially 15000 pieces of graffiti that local teenagers etched into the rocks that covered the hills. This misguided attraction was nearly salvaged, however, when a couple on the trail ahead of us was attacked by some huge snake.

Now all that remains is a whole lot of nothing as we cross the Great Plains for the last 1000 miles before Austin.

What the hell is this supposed to be? Are they deer? Are they anteaters? Do they graze in fields of twinkies and moonpies? Why don't you etch something that actually exists? You stupid caveman, if the monkeys you evolved from could see this crap, they'd turn sterile! Our species would cease to be because you left this mind-numbing crap carved in a rock for any time-traveling simian to see, would you like that? Grade: F! (This is a weak allusion to the children's artwork piece featured on Maddox's site - if you're not familiar with Maddox then you haven't been wasting nearly enough time on the internet)