Petrified Forest National Park | Winter 2018

After reading through the educational material and seeing the displays and explanations, I do cognitively understand how petrified wood is formed, but I promise you when you see it and hold it in your hands you will not be able to square the explanation with what you experience. It is no longer wood at all, but it maintains all of the signs, markings, characteristics of wood, imitation art of the highest form in brilliant quartz and rock.

What to expect: if you enter from the south, you'll come across some historic ruins from native peoples who used the petrified logs to build houses, you'll start seeing petrified trees everywhere, littered amongst the badland-scape. If you visit the "Jasper Forest" you will not be able to take a single step without walking over countless rocks bearing the marks of the trees they replaced. There are intricate drawings that cover huge boulders and ruins from ancient dwellings as you continue north through the Park. And once you cross into the northern part you'll also cross historic Route 66 (PFNP is the only NP to contain part of the famous American roadway). At the north bend you'll find the Painted Desert Inn and beautiful scenic views of the Arizona badland desert.

It is a beautiful, colorful, big sky country, giving Arizona a different reputation than the arid hot desert - a nice complementary parter to Grand Canyon and Saguaro National Parks, showcasing the natural beauty and diversity of my birth state!

Petrified Forest National Park became the 30th National Park on December 9, 1962, and it is located in Eastern Arizona.

All pictures by Karl Magnuson
Canon 6D Mark II
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L, Canon EF 28-70mm f/2.8L