Sunday, October 27, 2013

Arizona High Desert and Petrified Forest National Park

Saturday, October 26, 2013



Yes, this is high desert - you'd think there's not much to see ....

Entering the 'city' of Holbrook - population 1,852

 Not too much for photography, one would think.  But, what about all those snakes, insects, mice, etc?
 There's a lot of life out there
 Mile(s)-long trains parallel I-40 several times a day - I love the sound of the whistle

We're staying in OK RV Park on Navajo Blvd in Holbrook.  $28 / day.  It's flat and level and they have an interesting way of setting up the sites.  At this time of the year, the lady tells me, they like to place RVs only every other site; and, since the length of each site is about 80 feet, they have every other RV either pull to the very front of the site or the very back of the site.  So, as I look out my window, the nearest neighbor in five sites away.  Such a nice privacy trick when they're not too crowded.  There's a cement pad for each site and about 4 sewer / electrical / water connections for each too.  I only need about 5 feet of sewer line to connect!  Also, the laundry room, showers and other facilities are excellent.  The view is as above but the amenities are great.

Yesterday, Lacy and I drove about 23 miles to Petrified Forest National Park and the newer section of the Park - Painted Desert.  So, from the landscape above it was just a curve in the road to this ....

The Painted  Desert




From moment to moment the light changes - and the landscape becomes new again

The drive through the Park is 28 miles long.  I entered at the North entrance (off I-40) heading into the Painted Desert and exited (onto Hwy 180) heading back into Holbrook.  The total distance driven from RV park, and back to it, was just about 80 miles.


Lots of areas for hiking
This is a restaurant in the middle of the Painted Desert.  The menu is gourmet - we didn't try it!

Generally speaking the colors are more subtle than Bryce and Zion, but this is also a spectacular gift from Nature to enjoy


 Lacy rather reluctantly agreed to pose at Lacey Point


Midway through our drive, we crossed over I-40 and into the Petrified Forest.  I don't exactly know what I"d expected but when I first saw the landscape I thought it looked eerie, but familiar.  As I continued to drive through I realized I'd probably seen these views in any number of Star Trek episodes ....
 The striations of color are the result of eons of temperature, water and wind erosion and 
changes - spooky!



The forests of 15 million years ago  were buried in sand, rock, minerals.  As erosion continuously takes place the petrified trees are identified within the rock formations ...
 The color differentiation in the tree-rocks is dependent on the minerals in the silica that have permeated the wood itself.  
 Again, as in Zion and Bryce, unusual rock formations caused by millions of years of erosion


Miles and miles of rocks formed from Fir trees.  The weight of these 'tree rocks' is impressive - some weighing over 200 pounds per 1 foot by 1 foot square piece


I watched this crow land on the sign - and he stayed there until after I drove away


Some of the colors are not so subtle in this petrified forest











 We need to say 'good-bye' to the  Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert - a wonderful excursion.  As we near Holbrook, this time crossing over I-40 and the railroad tracks ...
I like to remember that I-40 is also the old Route 66!




That's all for now!






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