SXSW : Petrified Forest


From White Sands we journeyed on to Petrified Forest. The drive through western New Mexico and east Arizona was pretty spectacular. At one point we we watched a storm roll into the valley. Seeing the clouds pouring over the mountains and rushing to the valley floor left us speechless. Had we not been in a rush to get to Petrified Forest we would have stayed and done a time lapse…

When we go to the Petrified Forest we really didn’t know what to expect. On our last big national park tour (Badlands, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons) we heavily researched the parks and knew exactly what we were going to see. This trip we wanted to be a little bit more surprised with the adventures. We knew there would be petrified trees but the amount of color and layers in the badlands (a type of dry terrain where softer sedimentary rocks and clay-rich soils have been extensively eroded by wind and water) were mind blowing. We did a short trail called the Blue Mesa and never before have we felt like we were completely on a different plant. A storm was moving in while we were hiking and the ominous clouds added to the mystery of the place. Petrified Forest is definitely out of the way and smaller than most national parks but it is a place that everyone needs to visit at least once in their life. Having been to the Badlands in South Dakota I was a little nervous that Petrified Forest wouldn’t be worth seeing but the drastic colors that are on the Blue Mesa trail make it definitely worth while!

And there are the petrified logs. The fact that the whole area previously was a forest ages ago and now all that is left are small sections of trees that are now stone is pretty strange. If you stand there looking at the logs for too long it kind of blows your mind trying to comprehend what happened.

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Storm coming over the mountains.

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First view of Petrified Forest badlands.

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Blue Mesa trail. I thought it more purple than blue personally 🙂

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Part of my Black Dress series.

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Badland layers in The Painted Desert.


Petrified log.

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Horrible Iphone quality image of our campsite for Petrified Forest. This was the only campsite where we weren’t inside a national park. This was probably the shadiest place we’ve ever stayed and made for some great stories… as in Philip decided that we should sleep with the wood chopping ax and pepper spray. But we lived through the night and no one tried to kill us!

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