Initially, we weren’t going to visit Petrified Forest. We had planned instead to go to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon but, after visiting the South Rim, decided we should do something different.
I visited both Grand Canyon and the Petrified Forest when I was six and my folks took us on a month long tour of some of America’s greatest national parks. Maybe it’s the magical name but the Petrified Forest has always had a little bit of a romantic draw for me.
We entered from the south end and made our way through the park to the north end and the painted desert. The painted desert paled somewhat compared to Death Valley but I think that part of that was the time of day we visited the two different parks. Also, the painted desert had more grey/white sand than Death Valley.
The concept of petrified wood is kind of hard for me to grasp. The wood is not so much petrified as it has been turned almost to stone. Look at the beautiful colors created by different chemical reactions.
In addition to providing interpretive material about the petrified wood, the south Visitor Center is also interesting because it has information on fossils and dinosaurs.
Here are some pics of the painted desert.
We made two stops on the way to the Petrified Forest. In memory of Glenn Frey, we stopped in Winslow, Arizona for the obligatory picture.
Winslow is on Route 66 and I think they did a nice job of branding for all of the Eagles fans who make this pilgrimage.
We also stopped at another Route 66 icon – the Wigwam Motel. I love how they’ve positioned old cars at each unit. You can still stay here but, so far as I can tell, the units don’t have any windows. I think that would creep me out.