Once again Venture Crew 3 was up before the sun came over the mountains on the Rio Grande River near Taos, New Mexico, we're in for another long day of travel and sight-seeing before we reach today's destination in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Crew 3 Day 3 At Campground on Rio Grande - JimWeaver

About an hour down the road from where camped is Sante Fe, we stopped there to top off our tanks, wee break of course, and to see this amazing staircase in a little Chapel downtown. It's the Miraculous Stairway inside the Loretto Chapel. As I understand it, what makes it "miraculous" is a couple of things;

  1. Nobody knows who built it.
  2. Nobody knows exactly how it was built.

There's no center pole, most spiral staircases have a center pole that it's constructed around, the pole gives it the core strength it needs to work, to stay together. This amazing design doesn't have that core but it worked for years before they decided to make it an attraction, simply put, it's brilliant. They don't let anyone climb it any longer, why would you chance that? They do not know the name of the carpenter who designed and built it, nor is there any record of someone ever being paid for it. Very cool!

Crew 3 Day 3 Loretto Chapel sign - JimWeaver

Yes, we made a left turn in Albuquerque.

One or two more wee breaks down the road and we found the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Parks. Two areas on either side of I-40 that are tied together by a 20-plus-mile stretch of road. We started with the Painted Desert and finished at the Petrified Forest, very much worth the price of admission.

Crew 3 Day 3 Painted Desert - JimWeaver
Crew 3 Day 3 Petrified Forest1 - JimWeaver
Crew 3 Day 3 Petrified Forest2 - JimWeaver

If you're an Eagles fan, not the team, the band, and you're anywhere near Winslow, Arizona, you have to stop there on the corner of Kinsley and Second and bask in the glow of tribute to the Eagle song "Take It Easy".

Crew 3 Day 3 Winslow AR1 - JimWeaver
Crew 3 Day 3 Winslow AR2 - JimWeaver

A lot of sights packed into a long day, but a great day!

Day 4 coming up and while the trip has been awesome so far, tomorrow it's "bucket list" day for me and a few others on the trip.