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Friday, April 12, 2013

Visit to Petrified Forest and Painted Desert National Park

Today, April 12th is my Mother’s birthday, she would have been 94. In ten days it will be the 8th anniversary of her death. Miss you Mom.
Today, Friday, was a very nice day. Blue sky and lots of sun and a few puffy white clouds that got denser as the day progressed.  
I mentioned that the view from the windshield is a lot of nothing – a 180 view. Double clicking on a picture will enlarge it.

So we had an early start to visit the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Parks.

One of the many advantages of being a “Senior” is the Golden Age Pass for the National parks. Saves us a lot of money. As does the AARP card at a lot of restuarants as long as we remember to ask.
We stopped at the Visitor’s Center and picked up our hat pins and magnet and then headed to the Painted Desert part of the Park. This is a panoramic view at the first view point. Tiponi Point.

Lots of different shades of red, green and blue. And the distance you can see is unbelievable.

Some information about the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert.

From light pink to deep rust. I wish I could paint – but have to make do with my photography.

Just another look at the many colors and formations.

This hill has sparkles on it. Wonder what it is. Mica?

This part of the scenery reminded me somewhat of parts of Yellowstone Park – without the hot bubbling waters.

More of the colors – can’t get enough of this wonder.

Looking out into the distance…..

Mountain far far away.

The Painted Desert Inn – beautiful building on the inside and outside.

Just thought this looked interesting. Like swirls of lighter colors in the deeper reds.

Noticed this embedded in a rock as I was walking along gawking at everything.

Talking about “on a clear day you can see for ever.” Pilot rock is seven miles away from the view point.

And right below the words “snow on” you can see a white triangle. That is snow on a mountain just outside of Flagstaff 120 miles away!

This is in an area called The Tepees. The white layers are sandstone. The top of the tepee is clay. Dark layers are high carbon content areas, reds are iron stained siltstone.

Then we got to the Petrified Forest part of the park.

This is the Crystal Forest area. Colorful petrified logs are scattered throughout the landscape.

Getting closer to them.

One of the parks information signs. The trees fell and swollen streams washed them into near by floodplains. A mix of silt, mud and volcanic ash buried the logs. The sediment cut off oxygen and slowed the logs decay. Silica laden groundwater seeped through the logs and replaced the original wood tissues with silica deposits. Eventually the silica crystallized into quartz and the logs were preserved as petrified wood.

Just look at the colors! I want to take it home with me it is so beautiful.

Another smaller log with its crystals visible.

Just more pieces.

A closer look at the crystals

Another log.

Even more colors.

Didn’t do any hiking on the trails as the altitude of over 5800 feet slows us down quite a bit. Very interesting day. Great place to visit if you get the chance.
Later in the day we went into Holbrook and found a store where I could buy a new mouse. Thank goodness. And even later we watched a race and Kyle won! He's won 4 of the 6 races this season already in Nationwide. And has one win and two poles in the Cup series. 
And Saturday we will be on the road again - don't know how far we'll go. The altitude is really bothering Bill but we don't start getting really lower until Texas.


  1. What a lovely tour! I just love the colours...and views! Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Hello to you, I love the Painted Desert but it has been a few years since we have been there. It looks the same and that is a good thing! I found your blog through George and have enjoyed reading for a couple months. I especially enjoyed your posts when you where in Mazatlan as that is a favorite place for us. Maybe we will see and meet you on the road next Winter. safe travels......

  3. Gorgeous desert pics! Love the architecture of the hotel.

    I am always tired walking around too! I did not realize that the elevation of my Home Camp may have something to do with my being tired. I am at 6,214 feet. Wow!