Hard to believe that we are driving from 7000 feet to 5000 feet over the course of two hours and no steep inclines. Our road was through the desert and there was nothing to see but wide open spaces.
We did arrive at Sun Valley Resort which is a small campground (in the middle of the desert and nothing around it) with gravel roads and sites and decent size sites to not feel the neighbor is looking in your windows – even a few trees around. Area is too rocky for the dogs to walk – at least they weren’t real enthused about walking.
We are on old Route 66 and this campground and motel is a leftover from the heydays – they are working at making improvements.
Brenda and I took a trip to Petrified Forest NP and saw the movie and got our stamp and magnet. In 1906 the area was created as a National Monument and in 1962 it became a National Park.
Wednesday we are back to Petrified Forest and Painted Desert National Park. Great news – dogs are allowed on all trails with a leash and pick up by owners.
First tour was through the Painted Desert with numerous viewpoints.
Stopped at the Painted Desert Inn which is now a museum with many exhibits.
We did hike some of the trails along the way to get a better view of the desert.
Petrified Forest NP is the only NP that preserves Historic Route 66 – they even have an old 1932 Studebaker on location where the road cuts through the park.
Then we saw the Petroglyphs, which are images and symbols scratched or chiseled in the natural rock surfaces 100’s of years ago. The oldest dated petroglyph in the park is 2000 years old.
The meaning of many of the petroglyphs are unknown.
Puebloan homes were discovered here.
Let me see!
In one of the locations at Puerco Pueblo there is an overlook to view a small circular petroglyph and during the summer solstice the sunbeam interacts with circle.
Newspaper Rock is just what you would expect – thousands of petroglyphs.
The Blue Mesa was something to behold – how beautiful God created this earth with the blue sedimentary rock – you will also see shades of purple, pink, grey and red.
Saw the Agate Bridge which was a 110 foot petrified log.
I didn’t realize this but the petrified wood is created when the trees fell down and buried by sediment and the logs soaked up the ground water and silica and the volcanic ash and over time crystalized in quartz.
This is also one of the better areas to see fossils form the Triassic period 225 million years ago.
Crystal Forest had 1000’s of petrified logs lying about – what a spectacular area.
Sometimes you need shade.
And we got to walk among the Giant Logs – again 1000’s of petrified logs.
They have historic pictures over 100 years old and they compare them to pictures today and most of the petrified wood has not been stolen from the park – though people have been caught and fined.
Though lots of places to buy Petrified Wood.
Finally ended up at the Rainbow Museum and Visitor’s Center.
We really enjoyed the tour through the park, lots of color and things to see and more trails to hike.
Remember to take your lunch (we did) as there are no restaurants in the area except at the beginning and the end of the park – it’s a long ways in-between.
It may not seem like much but it is worth a two day stop to explore and hike.
Thursday we are off to Albuquerque, New Mexico.