Painted Desert and Petrified Forest

ToadDate 0035.11.02.2016-AZ

Wednesday morning, we called Camping World to see if our RV hail damage repairs and replacement for the icemaker was completed. The good news was that all the hail damage had been repaired, however the icemaker was not replaced.

We needed to crew in the Page, AZ Balloon Festival on Friday November 4th, so we decided to leave the RV in the shop and drive to Page.

Near Holbrook, AZ, is the Petrified Forest National Park. We entered the Park at the North Entrance, (I-40) and drove through the Park exiting at the South Entrance, (US-180).

The northern part of the Park contains a stunning portion of the Painted Desert. The Painted Desert is massive, it begins north of Cameron, AZ, near the Grand Canyon and stretches in a semi-circle over 160 miles to the Petrified Forest National Park near Holbrook. The Painted Desert occupies over 93,500 acres of land.

Francisco Vazquez de Coronado is credited to giving the name to the Painted Desert. He marveled at the multitude of colors; lavenders, shades of gray (yes I had to say that!), red, orange and pink, buttes and valleys. It was formed from erosion, shifts in the Earth’s crust, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

The Painted Desert continues through the Park to the South Entrance, but the most interesting features in this portion of the Park is the Petrified Forest.

The Petrified Forest National Park is famous for its fossils, especially trees that lived in the Late Triassic period near the Earth’s Equator, near present day Panama. The fallen trees, primarily a type of conifer, are believed to have drifted down a river 225 million years ago and collected together in slow moving water and covered with sediment. Over the years, different types of minerals leached into the fallen logs, replacing the cells of the logs with silica, quartz crystals and iron.


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