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657 Petrified Forest 2012-06-11

Petrified wood

After a short stay with Paul and Marilyn in Albuquerque, we were on our way to Arizona and the Grand Canyon. Thanks to Paul and Marilyn for the hospitality, great food, and fun.

Since we were driving by (or through) Petrified Forest National Park, we decided to stop. At the entrance we read suggestions on "what to do for a two hour stay". Well, we had not been to the Petrified Forest and only had two hours, so we adopted their plan. It was basically a driving tour from the north entrance to the south entrance of the park.

Almost as soon as we left the visitors center we began taking pictures. It was amazing and we were not even looking at petrified anything yet. Instead it was views of a badlands basin. We could not get enough as we stopped at every view point. A restored Inn (Painted Desert Inn) was the center piece of the basin as it commanded a panoramic view. It would have been a dream place to stay. As we toured the Inn we found that it had been converted into a gift shop, we would have rather it been restored to it's original condition even if it required an entrance fee.

Weaving south we stopped at a site (Puerco Pueblo) with ruins. The area had many building foundations and petroglyphs. The petroglyphs were remarkable and very accessible.

Finally we saw the petrified wood in the Crystal Forest. Soon we were walking through forests of petrified remains. I just don't know if I have ever seen anything quite like it. We discussed what we thought an unsuspecting traveler 400 years ago might have thought when they stumbled on petrified wood. I have no doubts that they would have known the fossils to be stone trees.

Many of the petrified wood pieces lay broken in lengths similar to sections cut for fire wood. So I asked Amy, 'what kind of saw would someone use to cut petrified wood?' She naturally responded, 'a steel (Stihl) one.' Ha!

If you are ever if eastern Arizona, you will be pleased with a stop at Petrified Forest, just prepare to be amazed! Our visit lasted three hours and could have lasted longer. We sadly did not leave enough time for us to walk the Giant Logs and Long Logs trails. We shall return!!!

Happy Petrified trails.


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