Wednesday, December 18, 2013

petrified forest national park...

If you thought you might get some ideas for Christmas decor, baking or gifting over here today...
you were mistaken.

I'm taking you back down Route 66...
and to a treasure in northern Arizona today...
 a national park we visited last month.



We had never heard of the Petrified Forest National Park before...
and had it not been directly on our route...
we would not have paid it a visit.

We would not have known what we were missing!



We entered the park from the north...


...at the Painted Desert Visitor Centre.


 Nearby...we stopped to see the Painted Desert Inn...
a national historic landmark.

It is built of adobe and petrified wood blocks...
quarried nearby.

The lodge was built in 1937 and was at one time slated for demolition.

Following public protests...
it was instead renovated and reopened as a museum and bookstore several years ago.


The inn was once owned and operated by the famed entrepreneur Fred Harvey...
known for his elegant hotels and restaurants.


A little further down the park loop...
we stopped at Puerco Pueblo.


We walked amidst the ruins of a hundred room village...
once occupied by the Puebloan people.
A very long time ago!

(about 1250 AD)


No...we did not touch the petroglyphs...
though we were right beside them.



This area was designated a national park in 1906...
to protect one of the world's largest petrified wood deposits.
 

Agate Bridge is a large petrified log spanning a gully in Jasper Forest.


We walked on several miles of trails...
among the giant logs.


I won't even begin to try to explain the how and why of these great logs of petrified wood.
I understand 'old'...
but not that old!


Beautiful mineral detail...
on that ancient rock-became-wood.

I brought home a sample...
from the gift shop outside the park.


The birds of the park seemed to be protected species as well...
and were trained beggars!


Historic US Route 66 ran through the park at one time...



...and a few car parts remain as a reminder.

We came.
We saw.
We listened to the silence of the wilderness...
and walked among the ancient petrified logs.
We would recommend you do the same one day...
if you are ever passing by that way.

Open every day of the year...
except for Christmas!


11 comments:

  1. We visited the Petrified Forest, the Painted Desert, and Meteor Crater all in one day several years ago. The Petrified Forest is fascinating to me. No two pieces look the same. So glad you got to experience this beautiful location on your trip!

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  2. Wow Judy,
    the sights you have seen are amazing! Dairymary

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  3. Amazing. I think the time of year you were there would be the best for me...
    Your photos are so stunning!

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  4. I have heard of the Petrified National Forest and enjoyed seeing your photos of it. How fascinating to see those huge logs turned to stone. I used to have a small piece of petrified wood but have no idea where it went. Thanks for sharing another part of your journey.

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  5. It looks very desolate but beautiful, too.

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  6. Oh I did that once upon a time. It was 1977; we came from the south. We have a few souvenirs...no petrified wood, but a vase in those swirled colors of the desert. Thank you for the reminder...it is always the colors that I remember most clearly...well that and the heat of that scorching August day.

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  7. So very interesting, especially from one who loves to study history. Thanks so much for sharing this about a park that I did not know existed. For some reason, I really liked that old car sitting in the middle of nowhere.

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  8. WOW! You could almost be downunder in Australia with all that amazing RED desert and endless BLUE sky!! I felt right at home ... until I saw your header pic - we're in the depths of a midsummer pre-Xmas heatwave ... so if I could just have a little of that snow!!

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  9. As soon as I saw what your post was about I called Scot.....we found this post most interesting!

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  10. I've been there about 15 years ago, and found it as fascinating as you did, Judy! I also have a piece of the petrified wood we purchased from Navajo Indians on their nearby gift shop --maybe the same one you visited? Arizona certainly has so many interesting places to visit!

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'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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