Disappointing Day at the Petrified Forest

After last night’s blog on comfort zones . . . well, I got really sick. It was either bad food or a virus. It hit me hard and fast. I thought if I just got up and got moving I would feel better, but that didn’t happen. I tried – I slept in a little after getting sick and hoped that would help. I got in the car and thought a mellow day in the Petrified Forest would be just right for not feeling well. I was wrong. I tried to get out and walk at the Crystal Forest – our favorite hike. I just sat at the trailhead feeling weak and sick. I only managed 3 photos all day. It was awful to drive through and see all my favorite stops but feeling to sick to care. So, I will share the photos I did take, but I will also share ones of the stops from past trips. That will make it a little more like I was actually there.Petrified Forest MapWe almost always to in through the back of the park when we come from Show Low. I like that, because my favorite hike (Agate House) is near this gate, so I know I will have the time to go see this awesome Ancient Pueblo Indian ruin made of petrified wood. I only discovered this hike a couple years ago.IMG_3664.JPGThe next stop is Chrystal Forest. This is a simple hike through an old forest of brightly colored petrified wood. This is where I sat at the trailhead but couldn’t do the walk this year. Funny, I vaguely remember my parents taking us on this hike the year we went on vacation on Route 66. I did not want to go . . . I screamed and yelled and threw a tantrum. Now, I love that place. Maybe partially because of the memory. By the way – the Petrified Forest is badlands similar to the ones we visited in New Mexico a few days earlier.20180418_174231.jpgNext up is Agate Bridge – a bridge made of petrified wood built by the Ancient Pueblo Indians. Petrified Forest was one of the first places where Ancient Pueblo Ruins were discovered – it must have been really weird at first. (PS – There is a place called Jasper Forest before this, but I am not sure which photo is from here so I will add it next year).After that is Blue Mesa – There is a paved hike there that I didn’t take last year due to 50 MPH winds. And, I didn’t even drive out to see it this year. But, I guess that gives me something to look forward to next trip. I love the colored layers in these badlands.After that are the Teepees – they are badlands that look like teepees. I actually got a photo of them this year. Not the best because pointing the camera out the window took every ounce of energy I had right then. Still, I tried to smile and be glad to have the opportunity to visit.IMG_7530.JPGNext up is Newspaper Rock. It took me a couple trips to find these with the viewers. I think the rock art is such a great look into another culture.After Newspaper Rock is Puerco Pueblo. It is, again, one of the first views America got of Ancient Pueblo ruins. These pale in comparison to Mesa Verde and Hovenweep, but they are historical because they are part of Route 66.After that comes the Route 66 stop. I usually get a picture of the dogs here – i pulled over but decided against it this year. How weird is it to go from hiking miles with Maizzy on my back to not having energy to take a picture? Within hours? Next year!Once you pass the Route 66 stop, you enter the Painted Desert parts of the Park. It is beautiful, colorful badlands – but I don’t have all the stops memorized like I do for the Petrified Forest parts. So, I will just share a few photos. I took one this year – but I think the previous ones are much better.So, that is it. I drove another 75 miles after I left Petrified Forest to get to my motel in Window Rock. It was hard to even get the dogs out of the car. They were so disappointed after all of our fun adventures. I didn’t even get a patch for Maizzy’s Sport Sack. I crashed on the bed and slept. More on my time in Window Rock next blog.Love, Grandma Hartt

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