Petrified Forest National Park

4/23/15 Thursday in Sun Valley, AZ (Crystal Forest Gift Museum & Gift Shop-dry camping)

The batteries were at 12.4 volts when we got up, so that was good. The refrigerator had only warmed to 40.9 degrees. Nice to know. We ran the generator from 7 until 9 to get everything in good shape before we left to explore the park.

John cleaned the jacks per our new instructions this morning, since the air was calm, using carburetor/brake cleaning fluid. Then he retracted them. All came up in 3 minutes! Hooray!! Off to see the Petrified Forest at 9:30.

We drove right past the first 3 sites/walks before we realized that they were there. We figured we’d just get them when we returned at the end of the day. As it happened I got talking with my sister as we were going up the road. I found out they were heading for Flagstaff today. We realized that we’d be up to the North end of park when they would be drawing near to that exit, so we made plans to meet at that Visitor Center around 3.

Crystal Forest

crystal forest 1 crystal forest 2 crystal forest 3 crystal forest 4 crystal forest 5 crystal forest 6 crystal forest 7

Jasper Forest-where more petrified wood resides (in a higher concentration) than anywhere else.

jasper forest 1

Agate Bridge

agate bridge 1 agate bridge 2 agate bridge 3

Note the concrete form below the petrified bridge. It was poured about a 100 years ago. Still, the rushing water below will someday cause our petrified log to fall.

Blue Mesa (below), considered badlands. Note logs on the ridge still eroding from the sandstone. As the harder petrified wood protects the sedimentary rock beneath, erosion forms pedestals beneath the fossil trunks. “The colorful bands of the Chinle Formation represent ancient soil horizons. While the red, blue and green layers generally contain the same amount of iron and manganese, differences in color depend on the position of the groundwater table when the ancient soils were formed…”

blue mesa 1 blue mesa 2 blue mesa 3 blue mesa 4 blue mesa 5 blue mesa 6 blue mesa 7 chinle formation

Blue Mesa Trail

blue mesa 8 blue mesa 9 blue mesa 10 blue mesa 11

We followed a long and, for a while, very steep trail, down into the mesa. Fascinating and well worth our efforts.

The Tepees

the tepees 1

Newspaper Rock

newspaper rock 1 newspaper rock 2

Puerco Pueblo. The first image is a kiva (for underground storage and ceremonies), the second is the foundations of some of their pueblos (about 100 all together). The next is a replica of one of the pueblos of an ancestral Pueblo people. There was even a summer solstice marker here (the next images). Then more petroglyphs that were here as well.

pueblo 1 pueblo 2 pueblo 3 pueblo 4 pueblo 5 pueblo 6

Migration Symbol

Migration Symbol

White Faced Ibis holding frog with raindrops below.

White Faced Ibis holding frog with raindrops below.

Painted Desert Inn

painted inn 1 painted inn 2 painted inn 3 painted inn 4 painted inn 5

We met up with Lynn/Gene at 3:30, traveling together in our car to see the Painted Desert part of the park.


I took more pictures of the Painted Desert, as we looked at it together.

Painted Desert

painted desert 1 painted desert 2 painted desert 3

It had gotten very windy, so they were glad to get back to their rental car and continue on to Flagstaff.

Last images on our way home.

last images 1 last images 2

We left for our campground by 5, arriving at 5:42, to have our leftover chili supper again. We spent the rest of our night running the generator and visiting with Diane/Dennis until we went to bed at 9. We turned the generator off (manual) as well as the fridge.

About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
This entry was posted in Arizona, National Parks (NPS) and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Petrified Forest National Park

  1. John Ellingson says:

    Pat, I am greatly enjoying the images. Jane and I really enjoy your posts detailing your travel experiences. It’s like being on vacation, for us! Keep up the good work. Please tell John hello from us. Cordially, John Ellingson

    • Patricia Elser says:

      So good to hear from you, especially that you are still reading our blog. Really glad you are enjoying them! John says hello back.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s