Today we started our visits to the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park.
We took a 2.1 mile hike along the rim and you can see a very long way from here.
We drove on to our hike for the day which is one of the "Off the Beaten Path Hikes" in this park. The Jasper Forest trail which for us was 2.9 miles and a change in elevation of 187 feet. Part of the trail is the old CCC road built in the 1930’s for people to see a formation called the Eagle's Nest. The formation fell in 1941 and the road was abandoned after that. We loved the hike because it was right through the petrified wood which was everywhere.
There were large areas with shards of petrified wood.
When I first glanced it looked like someone had spread a bag of wood chips across the ground, but it was all petrified wood which means it feels like rock.
Continuing we found piles and some very interesting logs.
Someday these rocks are going to roll. I bet each is as heavy as our truck and just balanced on a sand pedestals that will fail at some point.
Time to head back to the truck.
This guy was waiting on the rail near the truck. The ravens out here are HUGE! He is over a foot tall and a wing span of at least 3 feet.
Before leaving the park for the day, we made two more stops.
The first was the Crystal Forest trail which is a 9/10s of a mile paved path around some very large petrified logs.
This explains the way the logs are broken over time and the different colors.
Then a quick stop at the visitor center at the other end of the park before heading back to the RV.
They do have some impressive logs here also.
The total of our hikes for today was 6 miles. " A good stretch of the legs", according to the movie "The Quiet Man" with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara, a favorite movie of ours.
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