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Petrified Forest National Park

10 February 2015

What does silence sound like? Where do you go if there are no footsteps to follow? How does it feel to be in a place where day and night are the only times that matter? The Petrified Forest National Wilderness Area is valued for its underdeveloped and natural qualities. And we can see why. It is not quite Death Valley and not Quite the Grand Canyon, but it certainly has its own mystique to offer and is well worth the visit. Whilst in the National Park we visit a section of the park that was one of the first to be officially designated, and what we saw before us in the Painted Desert was 43,020 acres. Once again we are greeted with colours that only the natural eye can capture and Mother Nature’s beauty is ours to get lost in, find ourselves in, or simply take in the view. 5725B277AE8923F45A2B86C45F7C43E8.jpg

In another part of the Park we come across the Agate Bridge. Water created the Agate Bridge and will destroy it. The fossilized tree that now forms Agate Bridge grew in a lush subtropical forest 21 million years ago. When the tree died, it washed into a river and its quick burial by river sediments prevented decay. Volcanic ash dissolved in groundwater provided silica, which reacted with the log and slowly crystallised it into quartz. Millions of years later, rivers and streams eroded massive layers of rock strata to expose the fossilized tree. Inevitably, water now carving the small gully under Agate Bridge will cause its collapse. The supportive concrete span, constructed in 191, is a tenuous attempt at preservation. Water will always have its way. 5726C77E9A92A367E4A0E781ECD7BCAA.jpg

Shortly after we arrive at the Crystal Forest. Here we step into the ‘forest’ and enter a mysterious world of ancient trees turned to stone. The brilliantly coloured remnants of an earlier geological age invite us to visualize a changing world. Thoughtless visitors have removed most of the crystals that gave Crystal Forest its name, but you can still walk a 1.2klm loop and take in its remaining expanse of petrified logs renowned for their crystals. 57273E5397AA96559F02E4A351D8009C.jpg

Newspaper Rock is soon upon us. Here on the overlook there are three spotting telescopes to view "over 650 petroglyphs, some as old as 2000 years." The petroglyphs can only be seen from the overlook to protect the petroglyphs for future generations. This was a memorable stop and we would recommend you stop to view these prehistoric graffiti; they are amazing. 57278694CD4D498545FC9B3FC606BF7B.jpg

Petrified Forest National Park is the only National Park that contains a section of the old highway. In addition to the sites we have seen within the Petrified Forest, a 1932 Studebaker exhibit has been installed. The car was donated to the National Park Service by Frank and Rhonda Dobell, owners of Arizona Automotive Service in Holbrook, Arizona. Considered by many as the Mother of Transcontinental Highways, Route 66 is the quintessential representative of 20th century American history and culture. And this old Studebaker just adds a certain charm to the end of our day in the Petrified National Forest. 57264BBDCCA0FBC8FDEE8D8306F74959.jpg

Posted by V3USA 07:28

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