on April 6, 2006
I know each National Park has its own charm, views and items worth seeing, but I was singularly unimpressed with this pair of parks. It’s $10 for the two.The Petrified Forest allows you to view a half square mile area of old tree stumps. They range from short, to about 3 feet long on average, all lying on their side. A quick nature walk will take you through the main part of the forest. It’s an interesting concept to wrap your brain around. This park, in the middle of the desert, was once a lush green land, not unlike the deciduous forests of the north. Now, it lies undisturbed and hard as rock.The Painted Desert was, coupled with the other park, not too impressive. If you have driven around in the desert, or in northern New Mexico, you have seen most of this. Perhaps the colors are more vibrant in different seasons, but I highly doubt it. Small hills, a few petite mesas, cliffs into shallow valleys, and dried up riverbeds are colored in pinks, browns, and oranges. Marvel at the power and wonder of nature.I passed through these parks in July, and I was greeted by an unwelcome hoard of little, bugs. They swarmed, they bit, and they stuck to you and your car and I was hard pressed to get rid of them.On the plus side, the gift shop on the south side, in the Petrified Forest, was a good find. Stop here for local goods or stop on the roadside outside of town.
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