Home Is Where We Park It: Kiva RV Park & Horse Motel
June 26, 2020
Temperature 97 Degrees
Petrified Forest National Park
Someone please tell me what time it really is, please? When we arrived yesterday we never bothered to check what time zone we were in nor what time it really was. One thing was for sure, all the shows on DISH were seemingly at a strange hour. This morning I finally decided I had to know. Guess what? We gained an hour. We are now only two hours behind family and friends on the East coast.
Let’s go back a couple of days. While we were at Homolovi State Park we decided to do some sightseeing before we left. We, as you know, went to Standing On The Corner Park in Winslow, Arizona.
We also decided to visit Petrified Forest National Park and the Painted Desert. The National Park Service would lead you to believe that the Painted Desert is part of the Petrified Forest National Park.
The way I see it, though, it is actually just the opposite. The Painted Desert covers 7,500 square miles and extends northward to the Grand Canyon and it contains all of the Petrified Forest National Park. Well, whatever, both are well worth taking the time to visit.
We began our tour of both at the Visitor Center.
While here we toured exhibits, had Barbara’s National Park’s Passport Book stamped and met with a ranger to gather brochures and acquaint ourselves with not-to-be-missed sites on the twenty eight mile drive through the two parks.
It was now time to begin the drive. We debated, should we or should we not fuel up before we left the Visitor Center. The price of gas was rather expensive. We decided not to. A decision that would come back to haunt us later on.
Let’s get on the road. We’re at mile one, only twenty seven more miles to go.
The first overlook after leaving the visitor center. Are you ready?
Our first view of the Painted Desert. I stood and looked in awe. What an incredible landscape, vast and colorful – where surprising shapes suddenly spring out of the endless plains.
It may be hard to imagine but the desert stretching away in front of you was once hot, humid, lush and green. It was a tropical rainforest with abundant vegetation where dinosaurs and reptiles roamed, fish, claims, snails and crayfish moved through rivers and giant 180 foot conifers reached to the sky.
The color variations we see today are the result of iron in the sediments and the length of time the layer was exposed to air during the oxidation process.
This is the Painted Desert Inn that began as a petrified wood and native stone house built by homesteader Herbert David Lore prior to 1920. It operated as a tourist attraction, offering food, lodging, and tours for nearly twelve years
In the late 1940s, the Painted Desert Inn became a Harvey House when the Fred Harvey Company assumed management. It was a popular waypoint for travelers along Route 66 (more about this later).
In 1987 it was designated a National Historic Landmark. Today it is a museum but, unfortunately, like so many attractions we’ve come across due to Covid-19 it was closed.
Time to get back on the road.
This pull out is the highest point along the driving route and it provides a 360° view of the Painted Desert.
The colors, hues, and shapes just blew me away. Isn’t it beautiful?
To think that dinosaurs and reptiles once roamed this land.
If this panoramic view were all the park had to offer, it would be worth a trip.
But there is much more to come.
The next stop on the route is an overlook for Newspaper Rock, where more than 650 petroglyphs dating back 2,000 years are displayed.
Between 1250 and 1380 AD, ancestral Puebloan people inhabited this location.
Petroglyphs adorn multiple rock faces along the perimeter of the prehistoric village. Pueblo inhabitants scratched images and symbols in black desert varnish to reveal lighter stone beneath.
The real thing.
We’re at the half way point in our twenty eight mile drive through the park and we’re going to call it a night. Much more to come over the next couple of days.
And so another day on The Road of Retirement draws to a close. We have a great spot and a wonderful new home. The only thing we did today was to go to Home Depot and Jersey Mike’s. Barbara got caught up on our laundry. I, on the other hand finished my outside arrival chores. I scrubbed the bugs off the windshield and put our privacy screen up. A rather easy day for both of us. It’s just the kind of day we like after a long day on the road. Time now to put our feet up and have a glass of wine.
Thanks for stopping by today. We always appreciate your company and your comments. Catch you tomorrow.
These are the voyages of Elvira and it’s two intrepid travelers. Our continuing mission: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have never been before.
See you on down the road!