|Said goodbye to Sedona and drove north thru Flagstaff where we picked up 40 and headed east. Meteor Crater was a place we'd driven by and finally decided this was the time to stop.
50,000 years ago a meteor traveling about 26,000 mph passed through our atmosphere and crashed in to the high desert of what is now Arizona. It's explosion left a hole 4000 feet across and 700 feet deep. First written report about it was in 1871 by a man named Franklin who was a scout for Custer. So for many years it was called Franklin's Hole. Later it was thought to be an extinct volcano. It wasn't until 1902 that Daniel Moreau Barringer, a Philadelphia mining engineer, became convinced that it had been formed by the impact of a large iron meteorite. The Barringer family entered into a lease with Bar T Bar Ranch and formed Meteor Crater Enterprises, Inc. in 1955 to preserve the crater and surrounding land and the Barringers are still involved to this day. NASA used the sight for a number of years to train Apollo astronauts. We enjoyed the film Starman which features the crater. Was well worth the stop!
While at the crater one of the guides said the wind was 50 mph with gusts as high as 92 mph which canceled walking tours around the rim. We felt ourselves blown along in the parking lot. A little scary.