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Petrified Forest and Painted Desert
I don't know about you, but when I think Arizona, "swamp" doesn't usually come to mind. 225 million years ago, however, things were a bit different. At that time, northern Arizona was a swap. But one day, while the swamp was busy being a swamp and not bothering anyone else, a big storm came along and washed a large deposit of trees into it. Those trees sunk and over time, the plant fibers were replaced with minerals in the swamp along with minerals from the volcanic eruptions that were taking place. Eventually, the swamp dried up and the area was covered with sandstone. Over time, the sandstone eroded away and started exposing the now fossilized (or petrified) wood.
Petrified wood is not exactly rare (it's been found everywhere people have looked for it). What makes the Petrified Forest so special is the sheer quantity of it on one place. It is literally everywhere you look for miles and miles. Also, the wood isn't the typical yellow or tan we're accustomed to. Instead, it is mostly red with yellows, greens, blues, and black mixed in. Some of the wood is almost white and a very small percentage of it still has visible growth rings in it.
The following pictures were taken at the welcome center and are from the giant log display. This display is a path that takes you among massive logs, some of which appear to have been felled, cut up, and left, surrounded by a sea of smaller chunks of wood.
Last Updated 01/22/08 09:33:25 PM