October 27, 2011
Steady rain last night. The back is improving, with Aleve and exercise. In the meantime, I’ve seen how really wild this area is. Bright sunshine very early, then overcast all morning. Forecast said clear, so I’m a bit disappointed. Had to wait this morning for a new rental car. I noticed a slight oil leak a few days ago and yesterday saw oil pooling on the top of the engine. Thrifty said they could send a replacement car, and they did. A nice fellow from Flagstaff showed up around 9:15, with a car on his flatbed tow truck. He unloaded that one, loaded up my old one, and that was that.
Just about noon clouds began to break, and the sun is shining through now. Checked out an area called Long Logs, a huge collection of petrified trees that were strewn about the ground. Very strange landscape, the logs and gray hills in the background. This is at the far south end of the park. At an overlook a few miles from the park headquarters and my apartment, I pull off to see the view. Sun alternates with shadows on the colorful hills; you can see why they call this the Painted Desert.