Wood and Stone

Trip Start Apr 20, 2012
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36
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Trip End Sep 01, 2012


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What I did
Petrified Forest National Park

Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Friday, May 25, 2012

It was time to make a move and start heading to the mountains and some cooler weather. After all the days in the heat and strong wind, we were feeling pretty drained and tired. As well, the heat and big bites had led to a scratchy and itchy night's sleep. So once again, we loaded up Odie and were on the road by 8am. It was about a three hour drive to the Petrified Forest National Park and we made it there with no troubles at all. Along the way we drove through a wilderness area in Arizona called the White Mountains. There were incredible mountains and views and views along the way and at the top of of it all, what looked like a vacation getaway resort town at the top. Jess said; "Where did this come from, it's in the middle of nowhere!"
Not long after, we came to the Petrified Forest. This is a bit of a misnomer as there is no longer an actual forest in this park, it is much more desert terrain. Apparently it had been a flood plain in the past and when the trees fell down and were covered by water, the silica and mineral rich water was absorbed into the wood and all wood and fiber tissue was replaced by silica and minerals which over time turned into rock!!! The end result is logs and stumps that look like logs from a distance but when you get up close and look at and touch them, they are hard and smooth to the touch and contain a huge array of colors and hues within the wood itself. We have included some pictures, but they probably don't do it justice.
As we drove through the park, we came to an area called the Tepees, mounds/hills that are banded in different colours due to the layers of minerals contained in the rock. Another amazing sight and one that was quite surreal. KaMate wanted to stop and have his picture so we obliged. Then, at the Northern end of the park was a region called the Painted Desert. Again a huge array and diversity of colours that are quite unlike anything that any of us had seen before, in pictures or in real life. It's pretty cool that we are able to expose the kids to all of these different natural environments and despite the heat and challenges of living on the road as a family; days and scenes like this certainly make it all worthwhile!!
Then we simply drove on to Albuquerque, got some dinner groceries and checked into a very reasonably priced hotel for a couple of nights of catching up on sleep and water and enjoying a couple of days without big drives to and from different destinations. 
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