Saturday, May 14, 2016

Petrified Forest National Park

Most people don't know it but there is petrified wood at various places in almost all countries of the world. But it is the Petrified Forest in Arizona that has the most beautiful colors in the rocks. Actually petrified wood is not wood. It is the rock that developed over thousands of years  when trees fell, were under water for long periods of time and very extremely tiny partials of sediments worked it's way into the wood and replaced the wood and formed into rock retaining the shape of the tree and it's limbs. Over the years the rock is covered up by dirt, sand, and water many times, rolled over, broken, and shaped by nature. Most of the petrified rocks of the world are not very colorful but those of the petrified forest are. Many of them have crystals, and other bright, pretty rocks in the petrified wood. I visited this amazing National Park recently with my sister who lives about an hour away in Springerville, AZ. I was so enchanted by the rock trees and all the geologic history of the area I found it hard to quite taking photos. Here are some that I took. I am in the blue shirt in the pics and Sis is in the brown. Most of the photos in this post are of the Rainbow Forest which is right by the Visitor's Center. Note the sign I saw on the restroom door at the Visitors Center. This is sign tells it like it is. There are very few restrooms or places to get water or gas. Make sure you have enough of both and can "hold it" until you reach the next town. If starting from this point it is about 26 miles to the Painted Desert National Park where there is another visitors center, gas station and snack bar. Towns are even farther away. Having lived in the southwest states most of our lives this was no problem for us.

 This photo shows pieces of petrified wood still mostly covered in dirt.

 This rock was really eye catching with the crystals in it.

There were several wild flowers just starting to bloom as spring was just coming to this high desert country. It was over 7000 feet above sea level in the petrified forest. This higher elevation can effect many people. Mostly you might get a headache or feel really sleepy even if you think you have had enough sleep.

One long log that almost looks as if someone had cut it with a chainsaw.

 There was a school group that were visiting and they all sat on this long log for a photo section.

 You can buy petrified wood at the visitors center but it is illegal to pick up any to keep. You can touch and feel the rock but that is all. All photos after this one of the sign were taken by Sis.

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