Skip to main content

Cross Country Roadtrip - Day 4 Part 1 - Petrified Forest National Park 04/20/2010

Day Four of the trip was into Arizona - and it will be broken down into two parts.  Part One is a visit to Petrified Forest National Park & the Painted Desert.

Of course the entire set is on flickr, 117 photos in total.

IMG_5430

Petrified Forest National Park is located off of Interstate 40 - Exit 311 - in Arizona.  Normally, cost is $10 to enter but we were fortunate to visit during National Parks Week - and all entrance admissions at national parks are waived during the week.

The first series of overlooks and stops feature the Painted Desert.  The colors are simply amazing.

IMG_5431

IMG_5436

There is a brief paved trail from Tawa Point to the Painted Desert Inn. It's just over a half mile long, and it's worth the hike.  (Here's a hint: Iif you are in a group of two or more and at least one person doesn't want to walk the trail, have them drive to the Inn while you (and others) take the hike.  Joe wasn't interested in the walk so I just met back up with him at the inn. )

So while on the walk - I ran into this little critter.

IMG_5457

Speaking of the Painted Desert Inn -

IMG_5460

There it is.  The Inn was completed in 1940 and actually operated from 1947 to 1963 by the Fred Harvey Company.  It was almost demolished in the 1970's but fortunately would be preserved and is now home to a bookstore and museum.

The details inside the Inn are just amazing - and something you really don't see everyday, especially if you are a native East Coaster like me.

IMG_5470

IMG_5469

From there, the road through park winds to a wayside for Route 66.  It's nothing too spectacular...just an old car and telephone marking the former alignment of the Mother Road.

IMG_5482

A nice stop is the Puerco Pueblo.  The 100 room pueblo dates back to the 1200s.  However, the most interesting feature of the Puerco Pueblo are the petroglyphs.  This was the first time I had ever seen petroglyphs in person and they were certainly impressive.

IMG_5492

IMG_5490

From the Pueblo the Park Road winds into the badlands and an area known as 'The Teepees'.  It's amazing.

IMG_5507

IMG_5499

IMG_5502

But the best part of the park, at least in my opinion, is the Blue Mesa Area.  Specifically, the walk I took along the Blue Mesa Trail.  It's breathtaking, one of those areas where even the photos can't tell you how amazing it was. I had never seen anything like it, and I would have just spent all afternoon there if I could.

The Blue Mesa Trail is a must...as you walk a paved loop - about a mile or so - through this.

IMG_5528

The trail works its way downhill.  At the bottom when I reached the exposed valley, I was greeted by a gust of wind that really opened my eyes to what was in front of me.  I looked up and to my right, and it's a view you really can't top.

The Blue Mesa - Petrified Forest National Park

IMG_5535

Just looking at these photos again in posting the blog makes me want to go back again!  So one last look!

IMG_5537

Petrified Forest was a great visit.  In total, we spent about two and a half to three hours in the park, and we could easily have spent more.  But it was on to check out old 66 and we took US 180 North towards Holbrook to head west on 66.  Did I stand on the Corner in Winslow, Arizona?  Stay tuned...Part II will be next.

Hope you enjoyed!

Comments

Chris Allen said…
I think it's funny that you went to Petrified Forest NP and basically ignored the petrified forest. :) That's okay, though...petrified wood isn't all that exciting.

Popular posts from this blog

Check the box: Interstate 495 to 87 conversion administratively approved

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials have recently approved North Carolina's application to remove the short-lived Interstate 495 and future I-495 from Raleigh to Rocky Mount.  This administrative move most likely will result in North Carolina signing Interstate 87 and Future I-87 on the entire corridor in the near future.

Approved in 2013, Interstate 495 was first signed in 2014 along US 64 from Interstate 440 in Raleigh to Interstate 540 in Knightdale.  The remaining segment of highway to Rocky Mount was signed as Future Interstate 495.  However, in 2016, North Carolina's congressional legislators were able to get language in the 2015 FAST ACT designating the US 64/US 13/US 17 corridor from Raleigh to Norfolk as an Interstate.  In 2016, the FHWA and AASHTO designated this entire corridor (including the existing Interstate and Future 495) as Interstate 87.  (NCDOT had applied for Interstate 89 along this route.)

It is currently unknown when t…

The story on how the unbuilt US 40 Expressway in Brownsville took 40 years to complete.

For nearly four decades, the four lane US 40 just east of Brownsville came to an abrupt end - shown in the photo above - at Grindstone Road in Redstone Township.   In the late 1960s, what was then the Pennsylvania Division of Highways (PennDOH) extended a new four lane alignment of US 40 eastwards from Broadway Street slightly over one mile to Grindstone Road where an incomplete diamond interchange was built.  Earlier in the decade, PennDOH had built a four lane US 40 in Washington County into Brownsville complete with a new crossing over the Monongahela River known as the Lane Bane Bridge.  This new highway and bridge allowed US 40 to bypass the older Intercounty Bridge and downtown Brownsville. 

After this new highway opened, nothing would happen to it for nearly forty years.  US 40 traffic would use the ramps for this planned diamond interchange and then jog on Grindstone Road briefly before continuing towards Uniontown on the original National Road. 
What is unknown (at least to…

A quick Illinois and Wisconsin Road Trip

Recently, I was in the Chicago area and was able to explore the area north of Chicago and Wisconsin in my downtime.  I pretty much did a loop that consisted of Interstate 94, Interstate 43, US 12, Illinois Route 120, and Illinois Route 60.  It was my first real time exploring the area.  I ended up gaining an additional five counties on the trip bringing my total to just short of 1100, 1099 to be exact.

For the entire flickr set of photos for this trip, please head here.

Just prior to entering Wisconsin on Interstate 94, you will come across this sign.  Out of nowhere, Interstate 41 appears.  And if you aren't hip to changes on your map, Interstate 41 is a rather recently new interstate that runs from Green Bay to just about a mile inside the Illinois border.  Interstate 41 is an upgraded routing of the US 41 freeway that runs from Milwaukee to Green Bay; however, it was added along Interstate's 894 and 94 South of Milwaukee to where US 41 leaves I-94.  In fact, throughout the…