Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Petrified Forest National Park - Stop 2 in our Trek North to Alaska

Dumped our holding tanks, filled our fresh water and were on the road by 9:15 a.m. on Tuesday heading to Petrified Forest National Park.  The mountainous, twisting roads of Arizona Route 77/60 offered gorgeous scenery, but resulted in me having heart palpitations—yes, Mom was driving the rig! 


But I must say, she did a pretty darn good job with all the switchbacks and sharp curves.  Of course, by the time we reached the camping area, we had to pry her white-knuckled fingers off the steering wheel!


The camping area was the parking lot of the gift shop less than a mile from the Park entrance. A mere $10/night for 30 amp electric and a concrete pad with a picnic table.  A true bargain!  If you prefer to be like Fred Mertz of “I Love Lucy”, you can skip getting electric and boondock in the parking lot for free.


Parts of Petrified Forest remind me very much of The Badlands of South Dakota, with its “moonrocks” and grasslands.  The Painted Desert looks like sand art to me, with its layers of multicolored sedimentary rock deposits!


We hiked all of the developed trails in the Park to maximize our experience and see the best petrified wood specimens.   It is just amazing that trees transformed into stones with a kaleidoscope of colors!  And to think many of these trees once towered 200 feet in the air, and had up to 10 foot diameters!  What a difference 200+ million years of water, wind, and volcanic ash can make!



In addition to the petrified wood, the Park has fine examples of life among Puebloan peoples who inhabited the lands between 1250 and 1380 AD., including petroglyphs (Newspaper Rock has over 650 examples alone) and pueblo homes (Agate House was constructed from petrified wood!).



I would be remiss if I did not cite Historic Route 66.  Yes, the “mother of all roads” once cut right through the Park.


Petrified Forest National Park has much to offer.  So glad we had to opportunity to view this gem.


Tomorrow we travel to the Grand Canyon! 

1 comment:

  1. Finally back into a service area so getting caught up on your blogs. This looks like an interesting area that we'll have to check out one day. Safe travels as you head to Alaska!