We were here on October 25th, 2016
13,000 years makes it almost unbelievable - 13,000 years WOW!
There is almost nothing as impressive as a polished Log Cut of Petrified Wood. It enwithin it's own shinny surface. In the Western US seeing these stones displayed has been a rather common experience. One must realize the vastness of this forest wherein thousands of acres of ranch lands was petrified logs were to be found. At Holbrook, AZ, the closest city to the Park, you'll find several commercial vendors who have enormous inventories of these logs sections for your collection, all from private lands. BUT they are expensive, and of course we had to buy one that weighs about 80 pounds for our Rock Garden.
Not nearly as polished as this one displayed in the Visitor Center, but mines at the house, and it's ours. They haven't a thief problem here as this stone probably weights 300 - 400 lbs. In other words it's not a watch fob.
These two photographs were taken right at the South Entrance Visitor's Center off of US 180. This is an easy National Park to visit as the norther part is dissected by I-40 and part of the Park System road ways are the old US 66. Nice easy access, and if one is in a hurry 2 or 3 hours lets you see a good sample. We elected to spend the night in Holbrook and take a full leisurely day for the Petrified Logs and Painted Desert National Monument.
I love this photo as it show a cross sexton of a Log in it's raw and unpolished state. We are looking at a log that was probably four foot in diameter when it fell.
WOW! what a view of the Painted Desert with many petrified logs scattered across the landscape.
This is a most interesting example of the size of these logs and also it makes one wonder of how this forest might have become petrified. This is photo of a Log that spanned a wash, but note the length of the log.
This photograph is most significant in that one does not realize that the log is spading the wash is 110' in length. The diameter appears about the same at both ends which suggest to me that this tree wold have been 200 or so in height. The concrete support structure was placed in 1917 a hundred years ago. Petrified Forest was dedicated as a National Monument in 1906 so this suggest that they place this concrete bridge.
Part of the Petrified National Park is the Painted Desert. I want to relate an earlyfamily experience with you about the Painted Desert. It was 1947 and my father had just been able to buy a new automobile. After WWII it was a year or so before new automobiles were available for delivery in the US. Interestingly business proposes had priority voe consumers at that time, and that's probably why we had a new car.
Joann was 14 and I was 13 when we took our first ever family vacation. Remember we grew up in WWII and then nobody traveled, we had a War to win. Our trip was to the Grand Canyon, via US 66 and we stopped at Painted Desert. It was just a pull off of Route 66 but OH! what a gorgeous view. i recall it was near sunset and vividlydo I remember the fantastic colors of the Painted Desert landscape scene.
Years passed and the Interstate Highway System was completed, and US 66 was replaced with I-40. We traveled that route many, many time since, and even thought the sign says Painted Desert it never has been what I recall from my childhood dreams. Mybe it was just a choldhood dream. That was until this fall.
When we toured Petrified Forest NP starting our drive throught the Park at the south entrance, and toward the end of the day we arrived at the north end. We had traveled the Park Service Highway, and when we crossover I-40 reality of the old US Route 66 sudently appeared from my childhood. What a marvelous sensation it was looking across the desert just like I was 13 and it was 1947. My eyes clouded as I recalled our first vacation, and my thoughts were of my Dad adn Mom who are now long gone, but not at that moment overlooking the Painted Desert. The view of the is still a spectacular a it was 70 years ago.
I'm so proud to be able to share this photograph and this memory with you. Enjoy!
We'll close our 2016 travels with you now, and congratulate the National Park Service on it's 100th Birthday. And we offer a special prayer of thanks for President Theodore Roosevelt, a Conversationalist who had the vision the foresight, and the determination to save these wonders for we who are now following behind.