10/12~ Homolovi State Park
The enormity of this place is mind boggling and we love it!
A beatiful campground, wide open spaces and wild donkeys! Who could ask for more?!
They are as curious about us as we are about them.
We were riding our bikes in the park, the roads were perfect. No traffic, paved and just fantastic views that never stopped.
This campground was the site of several Homolovi villiage ruins. They are almost gone now, as time has taken its toll, but a few pieces of pottery could be found. These shards were set on rocks for all to see and warning signs said not to take them. We were happy to see how many flat rocks had pottery pieces on them.
We wished we could stay longer but there’s just so much more to see..,
This was my favorite kind of bike ride road!
We took the drive from the campground to the Petrified Forest. If you go to Holbrook and take off on 180 you come in the south entrance, then you can meander up and then across 40 into the Painted Desert and the loop takes you back to 40, it was a fantastic day for this drive and so beautiful!
We saw a lot of things, from Petroglyphs to chunks of petrified trees and always the view was endless…
The old car sat on what was part of the orginal Route 66, but is now a part of the park.
How Wood Becomes Petrified (copied out of the National Park Service booklet)
A log is petrified when all of its orginal plant material is infilled, or replaced by minerals. Approximately 216 million year ago, these trees died and fell into a river. They were buried beneath layers of silt, mud, sand, and volcanic ash, which protected them from decay. Mineral-laden ground water percolated through the layers, carrying silica from the volcanic ash and other trace minerals. The silica, or quartz, crystals slowly bonded with the cells of the tree replicating the organic material in perfect detail. Eventually, silica replaced the wood material. Now this petrified forest is not made of trees, but of stone.
The petrified logs’ brilliant colors are due to trace elements that seeped into the wood along with the silica. Iron provides bright yellow, orange, rich reds, orchre, and black. Manganese causes blue, purple, brown and black, and the graceful fern-like patterns.
As stunning as the Petrified Forest was the Painted Desert was even more so.
If was great scenic drive and something you just have to experience to be awed by the vastness and beauty of these places.