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 endowed 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 with 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 log sections for your collection and all from private lands. BUT, they are expensive, and of course we obtained one that weighs about 80 pounds for our Rock Garden.
Not nearly as polished as this one displayed in the Visitor Center, but it's ours and at the house. There isn't a theft 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 northern part is dissected by I-40 and part of the Park System roadways 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 section 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 how this forest might have become petrified. This is a 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 spaning the wash is 110' in length. The diameter appears about the same at both ends, which suggests to me that this tree would 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 the Park Service placed this concrete support bridge.
Part of the Petrified National Park is the Painted Desert. I'll relate an early family 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, and service businesses had priority to purchase the first cars. This is probably why we had a new car.
OH! What a gorgeous view the Painted Desert was. I recall it was near sunset, and vividly do 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 have traveled that route many many times since; and even thought the sign says Painted Desert, it never has been what I recall from my childhood dreams. Maybe, it was just a childhood dream. That was until this visit to the Petrified Forest.
When we toured the Park and started our drive through the south entrance, it was early afternoon; and therefore it was toward the end of the day, when we arrived at the north end. We had traveled the Park Service Highway; and when we crossed over I-40, the reality of the old US Route 66 suddenly appeared from my childhood. What a marvelous sensation it was looking across the desert; just like I did at 13, when it was 1946. My eyes clouded as I recalled our first vacation; and my thoughts were of my Dad and Mom, now long gone, but not at that moment as I looked over at the Painted Desert. The view of it is still as spectacular as 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 Conservationist, who had the vision, the foresight, and the determination to save these wonders; for we who are now following behind.
We'll see you on down the Road!
Come on Willie sing us another verse, and we’ll move on down the road.