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Posts Tagged ‘Petrified Forest’

On Monday, we got up early and drove the 20 miles from Holbrook to Petrified Forest, getting there ten minutes before the gate opened. We wanted access to the vista overlooks in the morning. The light on the red desert vistas was harsher than we expected, so I didn’t photograph too much. There were some nice wildflowers, however. It is spring at Petrified.

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We stopped at Pueblo Puerco and discovered some nice petroglyphs. One of a bird eating a frog is mistaken by some as a stork delivering a baby. (Just a little culture confusion there.)

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We stopped at the Teepees several times in the park. The direction driven and the time of day can make them look very different each time. I love all the colors in the mud hills.

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Blue Mesa was a surprise too. Although we had driven the loop the day before, the vista points were totally entrancing. I hadn’t been at all enthusiastic on Sunday, taking a few perfunctory images. We didn’t take the Blue Mesa hike again, but got some nice shots from an overlook into the canyon.

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The next day, once more we drove the 20 miles to Petrified. These daily jaunts were getting tiring. In addition to the 40 miles from and to Holbrook, the drive through the Park is 30 miles. Seventy miles doesn’t sound like that much, but it is wearing with all the stops we make. We had noticed a bare-bones RV camp run by the gifts shop just beyond the south end of the park. We decided to move there for our final night in the area. After moving, we headed into the park once more. This time the light on the vistas was really nice, with clouds creating mobile shadows on the landscape.

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On Tuesday morning, we crawled out of bed early and drove about 5 miles to the southern Visitor Center where the trail for Long Logs and Agate House depart. Petrified logs were strewn around the landscape and some of them were very nice indeed. But it was the wildflowers that really enhanced the logs. Plus, we were about the only people on the trail for the first hour.

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Agate House is, surprise, constructed of petrified wood. For some reason, the Anasazi used whatever was around to build their houses. The National Park Service has done quite a bit of reconstruction. I’ll have to find my images from 20 years ago and see what Agate House looked like then. It is difficult to photograph but fun to look at, like a much better version of the bottle houses in a few ghost towns. We thought we would spend about an hour on the two miles of trail, but we returned to the car more than 2 hours later.

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