Put a frame around it and call it a picture

imageAt Meteor Crater Arizona © Steven Willard

This image was first posted on my other blog http://www.stevenwillardreboot.wordpress.com. Some will have seen it there, and I beg your tolerance for showing it to you again. For others, a little background is warranted.

I recently picked up a motor coach, a ten year old thirty-one foot Winnebago, in Southern California and drove it home to Connecticut. One of the sightseeing stops I made on the way was to Meteor Crater, near Flagstaff, Arizona. It’s a park that is run like a National Park, but in fact it’s on private land. That may be a good thing because the family that owns it doesn’t have to get Congressional approval to change the brand of toilet paper when they feel like it. I passed this “window” as I was leaving.

I had already been up to the observation area to look at the crater. It is one really big hole in the ground!

imageMeteor Crater, Arizona © Steven Willard

This a five-frame stitched panorama. For some sense of scale, zoom in as much as you can on the area surrounding the white-ish blob on the far right at the bottom of the crater. To the lower right of the white stuff is a man-sized cut-out of an astronaut standing next to a flag that is the same size as the flag left on the moon (if you believe they really went to the moon!). Here’s another view.

imageMeteor Crater, Arizona © Steven Willard

The crater is older than the first Star Wars movie, and there are no action figures or Transformers, yet the kids I saw still seemed to find it at least mildly interesting. Kids! Well I thought it was worth the price of admission.

I did have a little harmless fun with a Chinese family. (Don’t start. They just happened to be Chinese, the point was that they were foreigners who relied on their teenage son to translate.) Putting on my best West Texas accent- that’s a cross between Bush the Younger and Tommy Lee Jones- I procceded to tell them….”Now see here, I’m not sayin’ I think it’s true, but there’s some that think this here crater weren’t no accident. Now here me out. These folks, and I’m not sayin’ I’m one of’em, think this hole was the result of extraterrestrials usin’ earth for target practice. Now wait, wait, I know your wonderin’ why would they go and do a thing like that for. Well, just like us with the a-bomb, we couldn’t go spend all that money buildin’ the thing and not try it out, right? You gotta see if you got your money’s worth see.  Also, you get to show off to your enemies that your piece is bigger’n theirs, see. Hell we done the same thing to the Russians. Now to prove a point, they went and did it again, to show it weren’t no fluke. They hit us again up in Kamchatka, Siberia. It’s no coincedence nobody lives in either place. Those aliens knew that, see. They didn’t want to hurt nobody, bless’em. At least that’s what some of ’em think, anyway. Not that I’m one of ’em, mind you”.

Well, I managed to tell this whopper with a straight face, and the son seemed to buy it. All they wanted was for me to take their picture. Now they have a story to tell their friends about this big hole in the ground, and the crazy American who took their picture.

I don’t know where the story came from, or the voice, either. Maybe it came from riding around for hours all by myself. Road trips can do that to a person, or so I’m told. Not that I’m one that believes it, mind.


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