Thursday, July 24, 2014

Petrified Forest

Just south of the Painted Desert proper, the road takes you through the Petrified Forest, a section of badlands where numerous prehistoric trees were trapped in swamp sludge about 225 million years ago. These trees were infused with minerals in the water, and over time, turned to stone. Now, current erosion processes are exposing them and they are all over this area for people to see and touch.
Some logs and parts of logs (above), and some of the channes carved by water in the soft siltstone (below).
The Blue Mesa trail is a paved path that descends down into one of the valleys where the petrified wood is abundant. It's steep, but worth the climb.
A chunk of fossilized wood just laying on the ground.
Looking up from down in the Blue Mesa bowl.
Here's a big section of fossilized tree up on a "pedestal" of sorts as the ground around it has eroded away but the ground beneath it has not eroded yet.
It well all erode away eventually though, and then this section of fossilized wood will fall.
Looking past the Blue Mesa ridges out over the Painted Desert to the northwest.
Here's some bigger log sections down in the Crystal Forest section. Here, trails take you out in and around them.
This pace was incredible, and well worth the half day that I spent here. If you're in the area, don't miss it.

9 comments:

  1. In my comment on your Painted Desert post, I was going to say that I hoped you had visited the Petrified Forest. Shoulda knewed better! When are you posting your pictures of the Meteor Crater?

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    1. After my next trip, probably. I missed that part of Arizona this time. But I'll be back out there.

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  2. Yes, the Petrified Forest seriously rocks.

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  3. I went their in my youth, and I agree that it is well worth your time. I was a little disappointed at first because I thought it would look like the Woody Woodpecker cartoons. I quickly got over it though.

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  4. Well worth it, and someday I'll visit there again!

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  5. Awesome Kodachrome images...

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  6. Awesome! I need to get there.

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    1. Any time you're up for a road trip, let me know.

      But I'm driving.

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