Friday, July 23, 2010

Petrified Forest National Park

We're on the road again and heading towards Texas. Yesterday we stopped at Petrified Forest National Park in East Arizona. I had no idea that Petrified Forest would be so stunning! It is a very RV-friendly park with parking for RV's at almost every point of interest. Even so, we decided we would enjoy the visit more if we parked the motorhome at the Visitor Center and took the Jeep through.



The Painted Desert overlooks a beautiful view of desert plains and hills which do appear as a watercolor with shades of pink and red, greens, browns, and grays.



There are Native American ruins and petroglyphs which were really neat but unfortunately you have to stand on a lookout point several feet above the petroglyphs so you can't really examine them too well. The landscape changes further into the park into a fantastical area of striking blue and purple mesas! I've never seen anything like it. Even the desert floor appeared to be made of a cracked blue chalk! I loved it!


At the southern end of the park you begin to enter the Petrified Forest where thousands of pieces of petrified wood litter the ground like rocks. They have been fossilized by minerals that seeped into the wood and hardened into brilliant reds, mustard yellow, pink, purple, and green. Silica is another mineral in the wood which has hardened into quartz crystals. These are beautiful veins of jewels in a rainbow stone. On most pieces you can still see the grain of the bark and the rings from the heartwood.



Petrified Forest National Park was certainly the most colorful landscape I have ever seen! The whole place feels like a fairy land!

2 comments:

  1. OK....Now you have me wishing we had gone there...Your photos are beautiful..I'm putting this one on my list of "must do's"...Thanx for taking us along!!

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  2. Hey! Did you notice the stork delivering a baby in the petroglyph?? Very cool place. I'm putting it on our list too!

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