Thursday, July 25, 2013

Petrified Forest National Park

It was a Sunday Morning when we drove past the sign that read "Petrified Forest National Park".  We were running behind schedule on our road trip, when we decided to make a U-Turn back to the National Park.  There was a long drive ahead of us to Minnesota, so stopping to see the stone trees was not the best idea. Our curiosity was much stronger than our common sense. So there we went to see what a Petrified Forest looked like and why was it named as such.
Fossilized remains are Petrified trees. They are a piece of history telling a story of how life changed over 218 million years ago. Camping here is the best way to learn about the park and all it has to offer. The park is approximately  218,533 acres that requires days to really see the entire beauty of the forest. We only had 30 minutes, so we walked around the visitor center. Unfortunately, it was closed when we arrived however the park did not disappoint as we still got to touch and see Petrified Trees. These stone trees are 218 millions of years old according to the National Parks Service.
These Petrified Trees are made of "minerals, including silica dissolved from volcanic ash, absorbed into the porous wood over hundreds and thousands of years crystallized within the cellular structure, replacing the organic material as it broke down over time." (Source National Park Service)
 
This is a tree that was near the visitor center. Here we could see the Quartz and other minerals that have taken over and replaced the wood. The shape is still in tact, because we can still see it once was made out of wood and it was a tree. We were just amazed that they actually exist in the world and they are so close to California.

Truly amazing to see and feel marbelized trees.  The process of fossilization is an incredible display of scientific wonder.  If you have an opportunity for a long weekend trip, this is one park you won't regret visiting.
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