on April 16, 2006
Around 225 million years ago, a forest was covered in volcanic ash, then slowly infused with silica, turning the wood to stone over the centuries.What does all this mean to you? Well, fast forward a few thousand decades—you get to drive through it! And, while the history and science behind it may be kind of boring to some people, the petrified wood sure is "purdy" to look at.Petrified Forest National Park consists of 93,533 acres, 28 miles of which have been paved into a scenic drive. To the tune of $10 per carload, you can view some of the most spectacular formations Mother Nature has to offer. Many stops at scenic overlooks are available, affording you plenty of opportunities to snap some amazing photos.Among the various sightseeing opportunities here are glorious views of the Painted Desert and, which I found particularly fascinating, Newspaper Rock, so named because it is covered in Native American pictograms. (Free telescopes are available at the Newspaper Rock stop, by the way, so you can really inspect them close-up.)If you're especially brave, you can engage in hiking, backpacking, and/or primitive camping while you're here. As for me, it's A/C cranked all the way up, baby.
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