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What and Where is the Petrified Forest!?

here it is, route 66 signs, famous route 66 sign, the jackrabbit sign, here it is jackrabbit route 66, where is the here it is signHere it is. Literally. HERE IT IS. The most famous sign on Route66 since 1949. The Jackrabbit Trading Post, originally a snake farm until a dude bought the land and set all the snakes free (eek!), has been selling trinkets and enticing visitors with its ginormous JACKRABBIT, which you can still ride!:here it is, route 66 signs, famous route 66 sign, the jackrabbit sign, here it is jackrabbit route 66, where is the here it is sign

here it is, route 66 signs, famous route 66 sign, the jackrabbit sign, here it is jackrabbit route 66, where is the here it is signWe came upon this Route66 icon, while driving from Flagstaff to the Petrified Forest NP, and here are some other prehistoric gems we found along the way:

famous route 66 sign, route 66 holsbrook, petrified forest route 66, arizona route 66Ever heard of a Wigwam, let alone slept in one?!

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wigwam teepees, sleep in a wigwam, where are wigwams, old cars in arizona, cool motels route 66The Rock Shop is the perfect place to stop to buy… you guessed it, ROCKS! Though we loved it mostly for the photo ops:

rock shop route 66, holsbrook rock shop, dinosaurs on route 66, giant dinosaur arizonaHere’s Drew feeding this lucky dino his first taste of Ben & Jerry’s! Chubby Hubby incase you were wondering 🙂

rock shop route 66, holsbrook rock shop, dinosaurs on route 66, giant dinosaur arizona, feed a dinosaurSo, what is the Petrified Forest anyway?! Well, over 3.4 million years ago this land was covered by a forest filled with majestic Redwood giants until a local volcano erupted, burying this lush forest in a thick layer of volcanic ash. This volcanic ash initially preserved the wood, due to the lack of oxygen, ultimately inhibiting the wood’s ability to decompose. Eventually, mineral-rich water flowed through the land embedding bits of ash in the tree’s cells, and as the wood began to decay, a stone mold formed in its place, creating THIS:

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petrified forest national park, what is petrified wood, where to find petrified wood, how does wood become petrified, The Petrified Forest NP has the largest collection of Petrified Wood than any place else in the world! Rangers are very adamant about guests not taking pieces of these incredible stones home with them, we know it’s hard, but if everyone took a piece… eventually there’d be nothing left! Not to worry, there are a ton of shops all around the park offering wooden gems for purchase – did you ever even question it?!

petrified forest national park viewWe recommend spending 1 full-day exploring the numerous trails and view points that are laden with these incredible stone logs and other incredible formations. Start out by stopping in one of the two Visitor Centers to get a map and sketch your trail. We went to the Rainbow Forest Museum to start, but if you’re seeking permits of any kind (Devil’s Playground or backcountry camping), be sure to go to the Painted Desert Visitor Center.

petrified forest national park, what is petrified wood, where to find petrified wood, how does wood become petrified, Note: You have to be driving out of the park at dusk (hours change based on the season), and you can camp for free just outside the South entrance at the Crystal Forest Campground!free camping arizona, free camping petrified forest, where to camp in the petrified forest, crystal forest campground free, Here are our favorite photos from our day at the Petrified Forest:

 girl doing yoga on a rock, girl doing yoga on a peak, blue mesa trail

petrified forest national park road, long road photoFun Fact: The Petrified Forest NP is the only National Park in the US that has an actual portion of historic Route66 running right through it!

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famous route 66 sign, route 66 holsbrook, petrified forest route 66, arizona route 66It was a toss up, but we have to say that Blue Mesa was our favorite trail:

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petrified forest national park, what is petrified wood, blue mesa trailThen, when sunset came rolling around and the sky started to do its incredible, pastel-painted thing, we decided to have some fun with it:

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petrified forest national park, what is petrified wood, where to find petrified wood, girl with hair blowing in the airSo, if you find yourself riding along good ole Route66, don’t pass up the chance to explore this incredibly-unique, outdoor museum. Between the numerous trails, the sweeping views and the gorgeous fossils, it’s way worth it!

couple adventuring, couple travels across the country, couple at petrified forest national park, couple on a cliff

 

5 Comments

  1. Reply

    Claudia @ Two Cup House

    November 3, 2015

    Couldn’t agree more. Petrified Forest NP and the Painted Desert are definitely worth the trip.

    • Reply

      mrandmrsadventure

      November 10, 2015

      Hi Claudia! Yes, they are incredible places that have a lot to offer.

  2. Reply

    Jennifer

    November 3, 2015

    Love keeping up with your adventures! My husband and I are a young couple that just started RV’ing and maybe we will see each other on the road. Happy Travels! ~Jennifer and Brad at roamingfreeinarv.com

    • Reply

      mrandmrsadventure

      November 10, 2015

      Hi Jennifer and Brad! Great to hear you guys started on this journey! It’s a great way to live. Hope to cross paths one day and we wish you all the best. B and D

      • Jennifer

        November 16, 2015

        Thanks! You too!

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