In 1853, the Lieutenant Amiel Weeks Whipple wrote: ” Quite a forest of petrified trees was discovered today. They are converted into beautiful specimens of variegated jasper…” The Petrified Forest is a surprising country, an amazing place to see. I think it was the very first time I saw petrified wood.
The Petrified Forest is part of a natural corridor, used by prehistoric people ten thousand years ago and by travelers today. Like precious gems shining in the sun, remnants of a prehistoric forest lie at our feet. Colorful specimens, from small shards to massive trunks, are strewn across the landscape.
As the trees died or fell, many of them were carried downstream and buried by layers of sediment. The logs soaked up groundwater and silica from volcanic ash and over time crystallized into quartz. different minerals created the rainbow of color seen in many pieces. Shaped by wind and water, this land holds vital clues to the past. It took millions upon millions of years for nature to create this natural canvas of unimaginable design that some describe it as a multi-colored layered cake.
I took many photos that day , knowing we were not going to be back here soon.
We moved quickly from one are to another, trying to cover as best as we could the 28 mile park road… It was windy and soon we knew the daylight was leaving us. In February, the sun sets around 6 pm in Arizona.
We enjoyed this park so much. Bringing back photographs was the best I could do as it is forbidden to remove any natural rocks or minerals from the park.
Today, the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest are protected lands that offer a rich history of numerous ancient peoples, a breathtaking assortment of views, and a picture of life as only the dinosaurs knew it.
What a fantastic day we had. I hope you enjoyed the photographs as much as I enjoyed taking them and sharing them with you.
Thanks again for reading.