Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The forest and the desert

After our trip down Rt 66, we did finally make it to the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert.  Man! Beautiful!  The kids loved them and had a great time exploring among the piles of wood. They were surprised to learn from the Ranger that an average of a ton of wood is stolen from the park each month!

Sock relaxing in the sun
A big tree root!

Jumping on sandstone ledges, surprisingly soft

It was much cooler under this ledge of sandstone

Agate Bridge, people used to be allowed to walk across it!

Perspective on the Agate Bridge

Overlooking Blue Mesas

Teepee formations, a lot of fossils were found here

Raven guarding the desert.

 We stopped at the Painted Desert Inn which was for a long time a working Inn.  The rooms are set up so you can see how they looked in the past.  There was only a small area that was not covered with stucco so that the original petrified wood construction could be seen.  It was a neat old building with nooks and crannies and a soda fountain that is also no longer running.  The National Parks Department maintains it now.
small portion of original petrified wood construction

Rooms all had their own entrances

Main Lobby of Inn, now a gift shop
Original cooler for soda fountain

View of Painted Desert behind the Inn

View of Desert from Inn

Storm following us back to Flag

Approaching sunset in Flag.

All in all, we had a full, fun day.  We know what we'd like to see again too.  There is so much in our state to see.

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