Posts Tagged ‘petrified forest national park’

“This idea that being youthful is the only thing that’s beautiful or attractive simply isn’t true. I don’t want to be an ‘ageless beauty.’ I want to be a woman who is the best I can be at my age. ” –Sharon Stone

Photo by Pat Bean

The fossilized rock tree, araucarioxylon arizonicum, known as Old Faithful, can be found in  Petrified Forest National Park — Photo by Pat Bean

An Old Tree 

Araucarioxylon arizonicum: I can’t pronounce it, but I did learn that it was one of the most common trees found in a 225 million year old forest that once thrived in what is now Arizona.

A more lively sight near the fossilized tree. -- Photo by Pat Bean

A more lively sight near the fossilized tree. — Photo by Pat Bean

The petrified remains of these trees, which are now extinct, can be seen along old Route 66 as it winds through Petrified  Forest National Park between Interstate 40 and Highway 18 in Arizona. It’s one of those great travel adventures that are so readily available when you exit the freeways.

These great conifers were buried by mud, silt and volcanic ash in ancient days, then at some point were exposed to silica-laden water that transformed organic tissues into quartz.

That, at least, is the abbreviated version of the science behind the stone trees. If you want more details, you’ll have to do your own research. It could be fun.

I tried to picture the forest as it once was, with dinosaurs roaming through it, as I stood in front of 225-million-year-old “Old Faithful,” the oldest petrified araucarioxylon arizonicum tree trunk in the park. It is located along a short hike behind the Rainbow Forest Museum near the south entrance to the park.

Araucarioxylon arizonicum, by the way, is Arizona’s state fossil.

Hmmm. I wonder if I can learn to speak the name of the tree as easily as I learned to say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

Blog pick of the Day. Check it out.

Blog pick of the Day. Check it out.

Bean Pat: About Elephants http://tinyurl.com/htk8jt9 This blog is really about the baobab tree, which was one of my favorite trees to see during my African safari. I loved learning more about them.

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“When once the itch of literature comes over a man, nothing can cure it but the scratching of a pen. But if you have not a pen, I suppose you must scratch any way you can.” Samuel Lover, “Handy Andy,” 1842

Marker depicting some of the petroglyphs that can be seen below the cliff from the viewing platform. — Photo by Pat Bean

Newspaper Rock

The newspaper I found as I continued my travels on old Route 66 through the Petrified Forest National Park was 650 to 2000 years old. And it wasn’t written on paper pages.

Newspaper Rock, a National Historic Landmark. — Photo by Pat Bean

It was scratched in desert varnish on large boulders. And I couldn’t understand it. Neither can the experts.

Actually, in today’s age we would probably call it graffiti.

Were the petroglyphs carved into the rock by wise men among the Puerco River Valley Indian farmers who lived in the area?

 Or were they done by bored Indian teenagers wanting to leave their mark on something?

Up close details — Photo by Pat Bean

As usual, the landscape I’m wandering through has me wondering again.

I love it.

“To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.: – Albert Einstein

Bean’s Pat: Everyday Sunshine: Get Close http://tinyurl.com/73enmyg I dare you to look into these birds’ eyes – even if you’re not an avid birdwatcher like me, I think you will be amazed. 

*This recognition is merely this  wandering/wondering old broad’s way of bringing attention to a blog I enjoyed – and thought perhaps my readers might, too. The Pat on the back is presented with no strings attached.  May 25, patbean.wordpress.com


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 “We all have our time machines. Some take us back, they’re called memories. Some take us forward, they’re called dreams.” — Jeremy Irons


This old junker is part of the Route 66 Memorial located in the Petrified Forest National Park. Note the passing semi on Interstate 40 in the background. — Photo by Pat Bean

You Can’t Get There From Here

As I continued on the park road after leaving the restored Painted Desert Inn and the mystery of the missing 200 million years’ unconformity, I found myself back at Interstate 40, but with no access to it.

This wandering old broad wonders how many of my readers traveled this road in its heydays. — Photo by Pat Bean

Located in sight of the freeway’s roaring traffic of semis and automobiles with occupants in a rush to get some place, I came upon a rusted, wheel-less relic of a different age. Like the A-Dome in Hiroshima, the only building remaining after the city’s bombing, this junker was a reminder of what once was.

Route 66 lives on only in memories, and bits and pieces of a route that truly takes one nowhere these days.

This tickled my funny-bone. — Photo by Pat Bean

I didn’t have the same degree of sadness in my heart as the day I stood before the A-Dome in Japan, but I wasn’t jumping up and down for joy either. Route 66 is a part of my past, a road that took this Texas flat-lander to magical places where there were mountains when I was only 14.

But then I thought of all the many places that today’s highways have taken me in my life. In the eight years that I have been a full-time RV-er, I’ve traveled this beautiful country called America from sea to shining sea. And more than once.

With this in mind, I gave a second look to this Route 66 memorial standing in front of me. And I laughed at the absurdity of encasing the front section of an automobile in cement. And this wasn’t the first such one I had seen. There had been similar encased old cars in the Albuquerque aquarium I visited, and in the Auto Museum in Santa Rosa.

Yup! Route 66 may be gone, but it certainly isn’t forgotten.

Bean’s Pat: Egret and Ibis http://tinyurl.com/cwefngs My kind of  poetry.

*This award is simply this wandering/wondering old broad’s way of bringing attention to a blog I enjoyed – and thought perhaps my readers might, too.

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 “Read, every day something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity.” – Christopher Morley

200 million years are missing from this landscape. — Photo by Pat Bean

Unconformity Along Route 66

It’s amazing how much you can learn from stopping to read roadside markers. I rarely pass one by, usually only because it’s on the wrong sign of a busy highway, and I value my life more than my curiosity.

It’s amazing what one can learn from roadside markers. — Photo by Pat Bean

That was no problem during my recent loop through the Petrified Forest National Park, where I’m not sure I even saw a dozen other cars.

The educational marker shown here notes that the basalt cap on the top layer of the cliffs was deposited five to eight million years ago. The lower valley layer, however, was deposited about 225 million years ago. What happened to the 200 million years in between?

The scientist have only guesses.

During the 1990s, I saw similar unconformities in the landscape in the Grand Canyon, when I rafted the Colorado River through it. There was a fun discussion around the campfire later that night about the missing landscape.

But just like the scientists, we rafters could only speculate. Meanwhile, this wandering old broad is left in her familiar state of wondering.

Bean’s Pat: Don’t Follow the Lights http://tinyurl.com/7avfh7v I’ve gotta visit Marfa, Texas – so I can wonder some more.

*This award is this wandering/wondering old broad’s way of bringing attention to a blog I enjoyed – and thought perhaps my readers might, too.

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 “I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” – Rosalia de Castro

Painted Desert Inn

Painted Desert Inn, Petrified Forest National Park. — Photo by Pat Bean

A National Historic Landmark, the Painted Desert Inn was once a thriving roadside stop for Route 66 travelers.

Restored ceiling tiles beneath which diners once ate. — Photo by Pat Bean

It went belly up, Like so many other attractions along the Mother Road, when Interstate 40 replaced Route 66 and bypassed the 25-mile loop through the park.

But where so many of the other relics of the past stand sagging and crumbling, the park has restored the inn to all its former glory.

But without the bustle of a busy lunch crowd, or travelers who might pay to spend the night, the inn felt sad and forlorn.

With only myself, the inn (now a musuem) caretaker and another couple, the place felt ghostly as I wondered through it, trying to imagine it in its heydays.

I didn’t stay long, but rejoined my canine traveling, Pepper, in my RV, so we could continue enjoying the scenery.  

Bean’s Pat: You Are My Collected http://rtewrite.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/you-are-my-collected/ Ditto what Harper said about my own followers. You are appreciated.

*The Pat is simply this wandering/wondering old broad’s way of bringing attention to a blog I enjoyed – and thought perhaps the readers of this blog might, too. It’s given with no strings attatched.

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