Petrified Forest National Park
Holbrook, Arizona: We had a really big
and there are way too many (25!) photos below. I ask forgiveness in advance from
your internet provider.
Our day started early. DT headed out on a run, and I headed out on a walk towards
the pueblo ruin site at Homolovi State Park. After his run, Dave drove the Honda to
find me, brought my camera, and we continued in the car to have another look at the ruins.
I have posted more photos from this morning on yesterday's page. Sorry, again,
but I just didn't know where else to put the photos. (This page is
Click here and it will take you back
in time by one day... and magically down to the bottom of the page to see the
added photos - of pottery shards and a very pretty lizard... then you can jump
Just after the 11a check-out time, we were hitched-up and pointed the Magna
Peregrinus east on I-40... on just a short jaunt to Holbrook, Arizona. By noon we
were installed in a full-hookup site at the KOA and set out to explore
Forest National Park.
to no one but us we visited Petrified
Forest National Park in
June of 2002 and stayed at this same RV park. We were in our POS Holiday
Rambler at the time, and drove our Holiday Rambler through the national park in the reverse
of our route today - and today we were in our Honda CRV. We had a great time in the park
today, but it was very windy. Very windy. The temperatures were in the high
60's, but we needed a sweater all day. Also, we have gone from sea level to 6000
feet in two days.
First stop was on the northerly loop in the park through The
Painted Desert. Incredible colors and incredible vistas. Why are you reading
this website? Get in your RV and get out here now!
We also stopped at the Painted Desert Inn. The Inn was restored by the CCC
during WWII, but no longer has rooms to let - it is now a museum. It is like
stepping back in time.
A time before my time. A time when a cup of coffee would set you back a
Above photos show the casual ice cream parlour/snack bar at the Painted
This mountain lion petroglyph was found by the monument's first permanent
ranger-naturalist, Myrl Walker in 1934.
A beautiful view from near the Painted Desert Inn
Nizhoni Point - my favorite view all day
The national park also has ruins of an ancient pueblo, built the
same time as the Homolovi site (fifty miles west). This pueblo, built around AD
1230 on the Puerco River, housed over 200 people, and had about 100 rooms. There
are many petroglyphs and a marker that is illuminated on the solstice!
Our last long walk of the day was through the Crystal Forest.
This section of the park has a huge fallen-forest of very large colorful
petrified trees. Many of the trees were once filled with clear crystals... which
sadly have been removed by illegal poachers over the years. There is a 3/4 mile
paved path meandering through these fallen giants.
During the dinosaur days (can't be more specific... this is a
travel blog, I am not a scientist), these tall trees grew in a vast
floodplain. They fell, then were covered with silt, mud and volcanic ash...
which cut off oxygen and slowed their decay. Groundwater seeped in and -
voila - you get petrified wood... that is now exposed through erosion. (Go
to Mount St. Helens in 200 million years and you can visit Mount St. Helens
Petrified Forest World Park.) It amuses me the way the logs break apart in
fireplace-ready-sized segments. (I envision chilled dinosaurs, with their little
short arms, using chain saws to cut the trees.)
Petrified logs in the Crystal Forest
My Driver, posing, in the Crystal Forest
Calochortus Lily (this photo is pretty-much true-to-size)
After spending five hours in the park, we drove into
Holbrook to see what we could see. Not much, but the town is on the remains
of Historic Route 66 and they are doing what they can to preserve the vibe.
Sleep in a Wigwam
Impossible to read under the faded Wigwam Motel sign:
"Have you slept in a wigwam lately?"
I am more tired than a dinosaur who has been sawing petrified
logs all day, so will close.
PEDOMETER: My Fitbit has me covering 5 miles, over 11,000 steps
and climbing an amazing 54 flights of stairs today.
Until my next update, I remain, your petrified correspondent.
Petrified Forest KOA - Full-service gravel pull-through. 50 amp. Picnic
table. Bathhouse, laundry, on-site pancake breakfast/cowboy cookout
in-season. Wifi, tent sites, cable TV, dump station, playground, game room,
heated pool in season, volleyball, tetherball, basketball, horseshoes,
propane, dog park. We paid $36.
Sign Up is NOT required! Anyone may comment. Sign
up only if you would like to add an avatar, or if you wish to be emailed when someone responds to your comment.
(Sign-up will take you to my safe and secure comment server, Pnyxe.)