Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Southwest USA: The Petrified Forest National Park

Yee-haw ya'all! We're back from our tour of the Southwest USA.
Cowboy statue in Santa Fe

I promise I won't show you every rock and amazing vista photo I took because there are about 1000 of them. Today I chose to highlight our travel through the Petrified Forest National Park in Eastern Arizona, a place Gardener Ted has wanted to see since he was in grade school. 

NOTE: Enlarge this page to 110%-125% so you can see the photos better

Millions of years of rain and sun and rivers have turned this ancient forest into petrified rock and trapped fossils forever in their actual form. The park is like a big candy store for paleontologists. Take a peek at some of the sights we saw.
Petrified rock
Trees fallen in the forest millions of years ago dot the park. We traveled the 28 mile road that connects the forest area to the amazing Painted Desert area. Parking lots and overlooks allow motorists to get off the road to take in the scenery and access to amazing trails for hikers to experience the beauty and adventure the park offers.
The rocky landscapes are gorgeous in this harsh and wild environment. 
I have never experienced such sights.

Petroglyphs--These drawings, thousands of years old, are found throughout the park telling the story of the people who lived here. I write about these drawings in a guest post at the Insider Books We Love Blog today. 

Solar Calendar--the Ancestral Puebloan people planted their crops when the sun shined a sliver of sunlight on the exact mark on this rock above. Amazingly accurate, the sun hit the mark at 9:15 a.m. right on time. Lucky we were there to capture it. The sliver is on the left side of the flat rock, half in shade and in sun. Squint and you may be able to see it. 

The 1932 Studebaker commemorates travel along Historic Route 66.
 This stretch of road was traveled from 1926-1958.

The Petrified Forest is the only national park that preserves a section of Route 66, the road that began in Chicago, Illinois and stretched all the way to Los Angeles, California. Known as the Mother Road, it sparked many an American's dream for a new life or for travel adventures. Gas was cheap and roadside attractions dotted the roadsides. Hence the saying, "Get your kicks on Route 66." Route 66 originally ran through my hometown in Central Illinois, so it was so much fun to trace the route that cut through many of the places we stopped on our trip.

The Painted Desert--when we came upon this, it took our breath away.
So happy you could join me on our trip through this unusual National Park. But then, each of our National Parks are unique. The National Park Service is 100 years old this year. We helped to celebrate by hitting several as we toured the Southwest. 
National Park Service logo--arrowhead
Visiting these special places in our country is a joy. And if you are 62 and a US Citizen, you can get the Senior pass to all the National Parks and Forests for a one time purchase of $10. good forever. Click here to learn how to get this valuable pass from the National Park Service.

For more on the petroglyphs related to my writing, and perhaps yours if you're a writer, visit the Books We Love Insider Blog and leave a comment, wave, or say hi. Thank you.

Photos by J.Q. Rose

Have you visited a National Park or Forest? If so, which one? What is your favorite? I'd love to hear from you.


Juneta key said...

Great photos. Looks like you had fun.
Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

Helena Fairfax said...

Wow, what an amazing place, JQ! I didn't know this park existed and had never heard of it before. Your photos are mind-blowing. Thanks so much for sharing. It looks like you had a brilliant time!

J.Q. Rose said...

Thank you, Juneta. I wish the photos could convey the heat and dryness in this region. I would love to have actually hiked a trail, but the heat was too intense to go too far.

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Helena, There 58 US National Parks, but people hear more about Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and Yosemite. The more famous the park the bigger the crowds. This park wasn't crowded early in the day. I'm glad Ted learned about it in elementary school and got to actually see it. Another item off his bucket list!

Nan P said...

Great post and photos, JQ. I want to see more rocks!

Marsha said...

Hey, JQ. Loved your other post,too. I shared it and commented there, too. Do you remember the old TV show Route 66? Two guys traveling across the country having adventures in each new stop. Loved your pictures and so glad you returned safely. I know the heat was just killing. Sharing. :)

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks, Nan. I have plenty of rocks pictures for sure!!

J.Q. Rose said...

Oh, yes, Marsha. I was a fan of those cute guys in their sports car on Rte 66. They never went through my hometown though, dang it. Thanks for sharing the posts.

Tess Grant said...

About 40 years ago, my brother who was stationed out West in the Air Force brought me back a tiny piece of petrified wood from a souvenir shop. It had a little plastic stegosaurus mounted on top and a tiny plaque on the bottom. The dino and the plaque are long gone, but the piece of wood is still in my daughter's specimen box.

We love Acadia National Park in Maine. Gorgeous granite formations and seascapes!

J.Q. Rose said...

Tess-that rock will probably last another 40 years and beyond, eh? That's neat you remember what your brother brought you and you kept it for all these years. Acadia is a far cry from the western rock formations surrounded by sand and straggly bushes. So happy someone with a vision decided to save these amazing areas for us and our kids and future generations to enjoy.

emaginette said...

How wonderful. I wish I had been there too. :-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

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