The Petrified Forest is at the end of the road when you enter The Painted Desert from the east, but we began to see signs of petrified trees long before we reached the official site.

I kept seeing brilliant orange objects on the top of distant ridgelines and couldn’t figure out what they could possibly be. Leslie took out the telescopes and said they looked like petrified trees.  At first I didn’t believe her, but a quick shot through the telephoto lens confirmed her observation. It almost seems that fallen trees have kept the ridges from eroding by blocking rainfall.

Though I didn’t find the Petrified Forest as compelling as the Painted Desert, I’m not sure that’s true for most people. A brochure explained that trains used to stop nearby so that riders could gather pieces of petrified trees, and we saw several people walking among the ancient forests, 

which seemed quite extensive.

Up close, some petrified stumps displayed brilliant orange-red colors. 

Although there are very few examples of whole trees, one stop shows a petrified tree that bridges a chasm (with the help of some concrete).  

Although I don’t think I would go out of my way to visit the Petrified Forest again, we will probably see it again because I do want to visit the Painted Desert again.

What do you think?

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