Today we started the day at the Petrified Forest National Park in Northeast Arizona. The Park was mostly a 23 mile drive through amazing terrain. It was so beautiful. Our first stop was the Painted Desert Inn. This was a popular stop for people on Route 66. We learned a lot about the Hopi and Navajo tribes here.
Then we kept going to the Newspaper Rock. There were 250+ petroglyphs on 2 large rocks, it was so cool. Next was the Blue Mesas, which were layered teepee-like rocks. It reminded me a lot of the Badlands National Park in South Dakota. It was like I was in another world.
Our next stop was the Juniper Forest. Here were more layered mesas, and a ton of petrified wood. Here’s a video I took from there: https://youtu.be/LmdklKcrfOQ
Did you know, this area used be as thick with trees as the Amazon, millions of years ago. The petrified wood was wood that crystals steeped into, turning it into a stone-like stump.
We ended at another visitor center where I became Junior Ranger again. Did you know this is my 38th National Park/Monument? Petrified Forest is one of my favorites!
We happened to be staying in the same town as the famous WigWam teepee motel on Route 66. I recognized its similarity to the traffic cone motel on the movie Cars. I bet this is where they got the idea from. Each teepee had a retro car in front too.
We decided to travel the whole way to Phoenix and check into our RV Park one day early. We took a back route and saw a bunch of beautiful hills and mountains. For about 30 miles, there was fresh snow on the ground. At one point, my mom pointed out a saguaro cactus and then we just started seeing them all over. They are exactly like the cactus you see on postcards of the desert. Even though we hit rush hour traffic, the weather was warm and we have beautiful views at our RV park. They were emptying the pool when we got here. I really hope they fill it back up tomorrow so we can go swimming! I can’t wait explore more of Phoenix! (WT)