We left Tucson around 10:00 am Sunday the 12th to head up to Petrified Forest National Park in the northeast part of Arizona. This park has very, very little hiking trails, so we knew it would be a park to only spend three or four hours at then hit the road again.
Driving up to the park there was nothing round us. It was straight desert for as far as the eye could see. We turned onto the park entrance road, and again saw nothing but desert. Where were we?? In the distance, we finally saw a small building in the middle of the road. This was the entrance fee station… we were in the right location! We drove up to the visitor center, the area where most of the hikes take off from, and took the hike that was right out the back door of the visitor center. This hike goes amongst the biggest petrified trees in the park. The two trails that really seem like one are called Giant Logs and Long Logs.. If you ask us this sounds more like potty talk than Petrified Forest talk.
For those of you who don’t know, cause we surely didn’t until reading about them, a petrified tree is a tree that has fossilized. The area of Petrified Forest National Park was once flooded and the process of the flood water knocking over the trees and bringing silt (dirt) in that seeped into the trees, which over time turned into rock. Do you understand? Yeah neither do we, so just enjoy the pictures without trying to make too much sense out of it.
After taking that “hike” or rather walk, we searched for a place with little wind and had lunch, then got back on the road that goes through the national park to head to another hike. We stopped at Puerco Pueblo, an area of the remaining pieces of 600+ year old houses, and went to painted rock, where we found none of the hundreds of petroglyphs that were scattered all along the rocks in the distance.
From there, we made our way to the Blue Mesa in hopes of being able to do a hike along the top of the mesa then down in the badland hills. Seeing how we could barely even open the doors to get out of the car, and the wind was knocking us over as we were walking, we decided it was best not to hike along the ridgeline.
This was a very quick trip in the national park! We drove through the rest of the park and hit the road to head just outside of the Grand Canyon to camp for the night before spending three days in the Canyon. (Or so we thought)