Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Petrified Forest & Painted Desert NP

We spent two days here looking at the marvelous wonders that have taken 225 million years to look the way it does today.  Why two days?  Normally, the 27 mile tour through the parks only takes a half day. But the weather on the first day, Saturday, was horrendous.
It was snowing, horizontally, all day.  Miserable!

It was 33 degrees and 25 mph winds.  Brrrrr!  And Holbrook, AZ.  It's not supposed to be!

Snow bush

Blizzard conditions.  Flagstaff, 100 miles to the west, got 12 innches of snow.

What a difference a day makes.  Sunday!

This rock-log is about to lose it's support.

There were many petrified logs such as this to photo.  Pieces of logs all the way up to 100 foot long logs.  Just amazing!

There were several pullouts and side roads to various "canyons" that presented different views and landscapes of the logs and colorful surroundings.  So much theft in the park over the last 100 years has decimated the total population of logs that originally covered the canyon and desert floors.  

The rangers actually stop every car exiting the park and ask if you have any pieces, and the sign says every car is subject to inspection.  So they are trying to stop, or at least keep the honest folks honest, in order to preserve the treasures for future generations.

Miss Nancy just outside the visitor center, south entrance.

These rock logs and blocks were just so colorful and amazing.  The logs actually break away through eons of time naturally. We asked if someone went around sawing these things into blocks and they said it just happens naturally.

There are countless logs still embedded in the surrounding hills that settled in the hills when there were ancient large rivers that flooded the plain lowlands and they wound up under hundreds of feet of sediment.  Through time and erosion, they become exposed.  Every year because of weather and natural elements, more and more logs appear. 

Agate Bridge.  This was about 100 feet long.

Sunday's weater was much better as we toured through the Park again.  A little cool, about 45, but sunny and just a little breeze.  We actually entered from the north entrance, drove to the south entrance and backtracked to the north entrance, where the painted desert portion of the park is located.  Here a couple of pictures of the Painted desert.  When you've been to Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire, The Painted Desert isn't as impressive.  Guess we were spoiled.

Here are a couple of the Tepees, as they were called, and under these large mounds perhaps lies hundreds of preserved petrified logs, maybe even thousands.

So, here we are in Holbrook, AZ at the OK RV Park.  It's Monday moringand moving day.  We will head up to the Monument Valley/Four Corners area today.  We will visit Canyon De Chelley and perhaps Window Rock, the Navajo capital city.  Looks we will have some freezing nights as well.  So, until our next post, we'll sign off for now, RVing Beach Bums Joe & Nancy.