On first impression, the Petrified Forest may not sound very appealing as it comprises stone log fragments scattered over a rather remote and otherwise featureless section of Arizona desert. Apparently it comes as a little disappointment to some, like us, who expect the trees still to be standing in thick rocky groves instead of lying flat in sections as they are. But the petrified logs are extremely beautiful with most unexpectedly bright colors, and the park contains a section of the scenic Painted Desert.
Petrified Forest covers 146,930 acres. We stopped to look up close at a couple of places along the trip. We skipped getting out to walk a distance to see things. I’m having a lot of problems with breathing while walking any distance. I know we missed a lot but what we saw was beautiful.
Dora and Boots in the Petrified Forest.
Many miles of going through the forest was just desert.
Petroglyphs are carvings made directly into rocks. Newspaper Rock boasts over 650 petroglyphs from a variety of tribes that frequented the area, such as the Anasazi, Navajo, and Pueblo.
Many of the petroglyphs are crescents, small human figures, animals, swirls, and a few other patterns. While many of the glyphs came from the Pueblo people, there have been many authors over a long stretch of time, extending from the prehistoric era to the historic periods of more modern times.
At the outlook, there are three sets of binoculars. With the naked eye you would never know the markings were there. Looking to the right wall shows swirls and men while looking almost straight downward from the children’s binocular set yields a different set entirely. It was a good view and interesting to be so close to them. I wish we could have gone closer to them to see the markings without the binoculars, but I understand the need to preserve the carvings.
This is from the internet showing a lot of the shapes clearer. We saw them through the binoculars. This rock was left at Newspaper Rock!
The rocks we saw when heading to the exit of the park. I think it was the prettiest!
From here we drove to our home for 7 nights which is Hidden Valley Resort in Tijera, New Mexico.
Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!
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