Monday, October 17, 2011

Petrified Forest, Painted Desert, and Tonto Natural Bridge

I have once again taken my fall break in some of the southwest's most cherished locations.  I also take my camera lucky for you!  I haven't been in Arizona's Petrified Forest since 1993.  This year I decided to go back to see it again.  The logs you see in the following picture are indeed very much rocks!

You are not allowed to take any petrified wood out of the park of course.  There are however some locations near Winslow, Arizona and vicinity where you can collect pieces.  I found a great blue piece in 2007 in the Winslow area.  But alas, in the park, you cannot.  I guess this bird will stop you if you do!

 The painted desert was just beautiful this time.  It is a little tricky to take quality pictures of, however.  Here are a few from the overlook near the visitor center:

These two parks are in the same area so if you ever visit you can see them both in one day.  My husband and I did most of the hikes as well.  We stayed in Winslow at an old Harvey House on the old route 66.  The La Posada Hotel has been renovated and is a wonderful place to stay.
On our way back home to Phoenix we past Tonto Natural Bridge State Park and decided to stop.  I hadn't been there since I did my field school for my masters up in that area and really wanted to see it again.  It is the largest travertine  bridge in perhaps the world.

You can see the waterfall running from springs at the top.  This creates a micro-climate at the base of the bridge complete with many types of plants.  Here are a few pictures of the water and plant life in the bottom.

If you ever get a chance to visit Arizona, you will find amazingly different landscapes and climates in a relatively short distance.  These areas I have pictured are not far from one another.  They are within a few hours drive of Grand Canyon and Flagstaff as well.  Hope you have enjoyed my travels!


Amy (aka Science Stuff) said...

As always, you pictures are beautiful. What a wonderful trip....thanks for sharing it with us.

Amy (aka Science Stuff) said...

I love your blog and have nominated it for the "Blog on Fire" award! Check out my blog post about this award!

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