Saturday, October 15, 2016

Self Control

Yesterday we went to the Petrified Forest National Park.   While we were there we autohiked through the small eastern section of the Painted Desert that is most easily accessible.   Most of the rest of it's over 93,500 acres are Wilderness and back country.

For us, it was hard to tell where one stopped and the other began, so we made no distinction between the two.      The pastel hued badlands were everywhere we drove and hiked, we were blown away by the stark but magnificent landscape.

Depending on the time of day, season of the year and quality of light the colors seem to change  from pink to coral, from grey to lilac and blue, from tan to yellow and cream.  

We saw ancient Indian ruins, petroglyphs and spectacular petrified wood, large and small.

see our Jeep at the top of the Blue Mesa trail head?

We took a relatively short, steep hike at Blue Mesa.   We loved that we were able to get up close to these subtly colored features and see what they were made of.

pale pink chips

In one spot we had a very curious and insistent Raven who followed us wherever we went and noisily demanded attention.    I finally tossed him a tiny piece of dog cookie from my pocket, he snapped it up and left.  

Even though the thermometer read 80 degrees, and it felt all of that, the scenery at the bottom of Blue Mesa made us think we were walking through a snowy landscape.

mini "tent rocks" only about 3 feet tall 

some spots looked like someone just finished
cutting fire wood that afternoon

Dave saw this embedded log as we drove by...

A few dashes of summer yellow were giving way to fall's golden falling leaves.

Self control.....I almost forgot.    I'm a real rock hound.    I can hardly hike along without picking up beautiful or unusual rocks.   I have holes in my pockets from carrying rocks around.   I call our Jeep "Rocky" because it's always full of my latest and best finds.     I had to exercise EXTREME self control at the Petrified Forest National Park, I wanted some of those beautiful shards of crystallized rock.  I know it's against the law to collect rocks in National Parks and this park is really serious about that law.   You get a small lecture upon entering and must stop for a "car inspection" upon leaving.    I have to admit I was a bit nervous when I saw that last I said "Rocky" is chock full of rocks and even though none were collected at this park, I wasn't sure how I would explain.....

    Luckily the cheerful Ranger just waved us through and told us to have a good day.    Phew


  1. Beautiful! I especially love the ravine strewn with petrified wood. Maybe it's time to clean Rocky out... ;-)

  2. Isn't it a magical landscape? The sands and petrified logs are such amazing colors, and as you said, change dramatically depending on the time of day. Love the raven shot. :-)

  3. Love all your descriptions and yes its beauty depends on the angle of the sun when you visit. We haven't had 80 degree weather this year :) lucky you.
    Those petrified logs really looked like someone arranged them there