Sunday, June 26, 2011

Petrified Forest National Park

On Monday morning, June 20, we left Albuquerque for Flagstaff.  On the drive, Scott spotted a mountain ahead of us that looked like a face overlooking the town below it.  We dubbed it “Sleepy Mountain.”  Do you see the eyes and eyebrows, or do you think we were just delirious from the heat? 

Do you see the face on the mountain?

We had scheduled a stopover in Holbrook to go to the Petrified Forest National Park to see the Painted Desert and some petrified trees.  Just like God paints a pretty sky, he paints a beautiful desert!  Layers of color painted on the side of peaks in the desert - quite spectacular!

The Painted Desert in Petrified Forest National Park

We stopped off along the desert loop drive for a picnic and were joined by a huge black bird.  He sat close by stalking us just waiting for a morsel of food to fall.  The second we walked away from the table, he flew down to look for leftovers.
A huge blackbird stalking our picnic lunch

Hoping for a leftover scrap of food

More of the Painted Desert

This is actually the back of a bench at one of the stops marking Route 66.

And more of the Painted Desert

We drove on around the loop pulling off at the turnouts to snap pictures until we made it to the “Crystal Forest” trail, where there was lots of petrified wood along the path.  Emilee chose to do this one because it had a pretty name.  It was one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen.  Was it a tree, or was it a rock?  Some were just small chunks, but some pieces were huge.  And the colors mixed together were gorgeous.

Standing in front of an old petrified tree

A huge chunk of petrified wood

Some kind of reptile sitting on the side of the trail

Toward the end of the drive around the loop, we stopped off to look down at some petroglyphs.  There were free viewfinders here, so we could get a close-up look at the drawings.  I was able to snap a picture of Ashlee looking through one of the viewfinders.  She kept saying she couldn’t see anything through the one she was looking through.  Upon closer inspection of the picture, you can see Emilee’s fingers covering the end of her scope – check out the sneaky grin on Emilee’s face!  Ashlee didn’t have a clue until I showed her the picture.  Fortunately for Emilee, Ash has a good sense of humor and got a kick out of it right along with the rest of us. 

"I can't see a thing!"  Look at that sneaky Emilee!

We finished up in the park, and as we were leaving Emilee spotted a shack on the side of the road advertising petrified wood for a quarter.  So we had to stop and check it out just in case it was legitimate.  To a 12-year-old, everything is legitimate!  They did have what appeared to be petrified wood pieces for a quarter, but they lure you in with the sign and then you see all the “BIG” pieces with “all the pretty colors” priced by weight!  The girls each picked out pieces for $1, and we were once again on the road to Flagstaff for our day at the Grand Canyon tomorrow.

My “fun” pics of the day… we spotted the Sleep Wigwam Motel on the road between Holbrook and Flagstaff.  We had to turn around and go back just to take pictures.  It made us think of the Disney movie, Cars.

I would love to see the inside of this!

If you look close, in the background you can see "Mater" from the movie "Cars."

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