Saturday, July 21, 2012

Petrified Forest and Painted Desert

We headed east on Interstate 40 toward Petrified Forest National Park, but on the way had to stop in Winslow, so Ron could be 'standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona'

And I could be 'a girl, my lord, in a flat bed Ford'

And if you don't know those lines come from Take it Easy which was the signature song by the Eagles, you are just too young to be reading this blog.

Poor little Winslow has seen better days, but they created the Standin' on the Corner Park to commemorate the famous lyrics.  It works pretty well as a 'hook' since people were lining up to have their picture taken in front of the clever mural.  However there didn't seem to be a lot to hold them in town once that was done.  I think a nice old-fashioned diner would do very well there.  Or an ice cream shop.

The locals were sure friendly.

We moved on to the free RV park at a souvenir shop just outside of the southern entrance to Petrified Forest.  After parking, we noticed a massive cloud of smoke along the horizon towards the southeast.  Actually we weren't sure it was smoke until it rolled over us and we could smell it.  Amazingly, it had to have come from the fire in southwestern New Mexico, 150 miles away!

Since we had come downhill from Flagstaff, it was rather warm, so we tried to get an early start the next morning to view the park.  Both Ron and I had been there before, but there's always something you miss.

The first novelty was the Agate House a partially restored pueblo made of petrified wood.  Cool!

I love petrified wood with all the pretty colors and there sure is a lot of it here.

Most of it is in pieces, but this giant tree is pretty impressive.

Crystal Forest contains logs filled with glassy amethyst and quartz crystals.  A lot of it was looted years ago before it was protected, but I found a nice one.  It was pretty far from the trail, so this is zoomed and cropped (and blurry.)

Neither of us had ever taken the Blue Mesa side road and I highly recommend it.  My poor camera doesn't do it justice, but it was just beautiful.

Heading toward the northern section of the park, we passed the Tepees.
If you're wondering why we had our rig instead of just taking the car, that's the logical way to see this park.  If you're heading west on I 40, you take the park road north to south, then take US180 northwest back to the interstate.  If you're going east, like we were, you exit I 40 on US180, take that to the south end of the park and tour south to north.   There are  plenty of large pull-offs like this one and the major stops all have RV parking and loops for turning.

At the northern end is the Painted Desert section.  By this time the sun was high overhead so some of the color was washed out, but Lacey Point still looked pretty spectacular.


  1. I guess that house does not have to worry about termites...

    You'd think Winslow would really have all kinds of touristy traps playing on the song.

    Wonder if they had to get the Eagles permission to put up the statue, or if the Eagles had to get permission to mention Winslow, AZ in their song?

    Inquiring minds want to know. ;c)

  2. First off, I think the photos are really great.
    Second, I think I am older than you, Barbara, and I don't know that song.

  3. I had to hold out in Winslow on my last trip to AZ due to a MAC DADDY SAND Storm that shut I-40 down.
    I DIDNT do the Petrified Forest, now I think I need to go do that next time, looks very interesting as well as the BLUE mesa..awesome!
    Take It Easy!!

  4. Is the Ford a permanent fixture now? It wasn't there last year.

  5. Nice; we've not explored this area before and hope to do so in the not so distant future.

    P.S. Your camera is doing just fine :-))