Contributing author Joey Slaughter is the owner of Blue Ridge Transport, LLC. A Ringgold, VA based carrier. Joey started his company in 2010 after serving time as an unhappy employee with a local trucking company. The time spent there was not fun but, in hindsight, was a turning point that propelled Joey into the wonderful world of being an entrepreneur. Please visit JoeySlaughter.net for more insightful blogging.
Meteor Crater in Arizona is located at exit 233, just 6 miles off of Interstate 40 a few miles west of Winslow, AZ. I had seen the exit before, but on this particular trip a few months ago, I was ahead of schedule and time to stop and see it. I called the administrative offices there and found out that they do in fact have truck parking and a good road to the entrance. An entry fee of $16 was required, but well worth is as there is a museum, gift shop and telescopes available for use around the crater rim.
The crater is nearly a mile in diameter and almost 600 feet deep. The surprising thing is that a meteorite believed to be around 50 yards wide created the crater. However, that piece of space rock was estimated to be traveling around 28,000 mph at impact! The meteorite consisted of a nickel-iron composition, but not surprisingly, there is very little evidence of the rock that made the crater. Most of it was vaporized upon impact.
My first impression was that it wasn’t as big as I was told, but that was because of lack of perspective. There were telescopes mounted at the rim that were focused on certain objects that gave a perspective to how big it really is. One telescope was trained on a boulder that was the size of a house. When you look at it with the naked eye, you’d think it was the size of a small car. There was also a telescope focused on a 6′ mannequin dressed in an astronaut suit at the bottom of the crater. I couldn’t even see it with my naked eye so that display really put the size of the crater in perspective.
If you get a chance to go, please leave the parking lot better than you found it to ensure future years of commercial parking for others to enjoy. The pic to the right is of my rig about a mile from the Crater.