This October, I bought my first car in Los Angeles and drove it across the country, back to my home in upstate New York, and it was truly the adventure of a lifetime. There were so many memories on that trip, so it was hard to choose just one, but the day that sticks out in my mind was the day that I drove my car through the Petrified Forest in northern Arizona.
That weekend, I had been staying in the Grand Canyon Hostel in Flagstaff, where many travelers were staying with plans of going to the Grand Canyon. I considered going there, but decided to go against it, not only to avoid the crowds but also because I had been there years ago. I wanted to go to a National Park that I had never been to before, and because it was Veteran's Day weekend, admission was free, so I had nothing to lose.
When I entered the Petrified Forest, I felt connected to the land in a way I hadn't felt in a long, long time. Arizona is a very magical place, and this park helped me see that. I keep coming back to my time there, and I am very happy that I made the decision to go off the beaten path that weekend.