|See all of the petrified logs dotting the area?|
The Petrified Forest National Park offers one of the world's largest and most colorful concentration of petrified wood. Located in Eastern Arizona, the park is about 3.5 hours from both Phoenix and Albuquerque.
There are two parts to this national park. The northern part shows the Painted Desert and the southern part consists of the Petrified Forest. Today I will talk about the Petrified Forest.
|This is one of the largest sections of petrified wood there. Its name is OLD FAITHFUL, and it has a diameter of 9.5 feet. Isn't this just amazing?|
|This is the base of "Old Faithful".|
Here's the process of petrification: The first step is that trees end up being buried by sand or volcanic ash or some other substance and therefore take a very long time to rot. They are also submerged in water. Most logs subjected to these conditions would simply decompose before the petrification process began, but for some reason in SOME areas, they don't.
|Isn't this just awesome? Look at all of the colors (minerals) in this one.|
Generally, only the trunks of petrified trees are found because the leaves and branches are softer, so they tend to decompose faster than the minerals can accumulate in the cells.
|I couldn't quit taking pictures of these beauties. I had never seen anything like this before.|
In the mid 1800's, people began to flock to this area to take as much of the petrified wood as they could get. By about 1870, great quantities of glistening rock were being carried off by souvenir hunters and commercial developers, who cut slabs from the logs for tabletops and mantles. Petrified wood was also blasted apart in search of valuable amethysts or quartz crystals that some of the wood contains.
Concerned citizens (who wanted to protect the forest) went to the Arizona Territorial Legislature to seek federal protection for the area, so the Petrified Forest was declared a national monument in 1906, and became a national park in 1962.
|I loved seeing all of the different colors, plus just pondering the age of these 'trees'. WOW!|
Believe it or not, petrified wood is found on every continent except Antartica. The colors can vary widely due to various minerals in the soil. And---there are several areas even in the USA where you can find petrified wood. We were just lucky to be at the Petrified Wood National Park in Arizona.
|Again, all of the gorgeous colors caught my attention. This was an awesome experience.|
When we pulled up to the check-out point when we were leaving, the person asked us if we took anything valuable with us from the park. George said, "Yes we did... We took a bunch of photos and have a bunch of memories". She laughed and let us leave!!!
Hope you see this beauty someday (if you haven't). It will always be a favorite place of ours... My prayers are with everyone who has been or will be affected by Hurricane Irene. May God be with you ALL. See you on Monday.