Home Is Where We Park It: Kiva RV Park & Horse Motel
June 27, 2020
Temperature 94 Degrees
Conclusion of our tour through. . .
Petrified Forest National Park
How Far Can We Go When The Low Fuel Light Comes On
Today is just another day in paradise for us. Yes, it is hot once again but so be it. Elvira is partially shaded on both the driver and passenger side. We have reflectex in the bedroom window and in the shower skylight, the two hot spots right now. What this means, bottom line, is that the AC doesn’t run continually; while still maintaining a comfortable 79 degrees inside.
Time now to get back on the road and conclude our tour of the Petrified Forest National Park and the Painted Desert.
This was our next stop.
Moving along we come now to the area known as The Tepees.
The Tepees consist of colorful eroded conical hill formations that resemble teepees in the southern section of the park. They are located between Newspaper Rock and the Blue Mesa loop road.
The tepees consist of thick deposits of grey, blue, purple, and green mudstones and white minor sandstone beds, and are colored by iron, manganese, and other minerals.
They are absolutely stunning and take your breath away when you see them for the first time. Much as with the Grand Canyon neither words nor pictures does them justice, you have to see them for yourself.
The next turnout we came to was for
The turnout takes you to a 3.5 mile loop road through Blue Mesa.
Displaying green, blue, lavender, white and brown banding, these Blue Mesa deposits are thought to be at least 220 million years old. Buried within these ancient layers of mudstone are telltale signs of an ancient conifer forest.
Driving the Mesa loop road we also catch our first glimpse of the petrified logs that give the Petrified Forest National Park its name.
Leaving Blue Mesa our next turnout was at Crystal Forest.
This is where you will find a fantastic display of petrified logs dating back to the time of the dinosaurs. A hike was necessary in order to see them up close and in person. But, it was well worth it even in the heat of the day.
The massive petrified logs were scattered everywhere.
This explains how the petrified logs came to be
- 218 million years ago this spot was the edge of a river channel
- fallen trees crisscrossed the channel and were buried beneath layers of silt
- over time silica enriched groundwater percolated through the trunks replacing the organic matter in the wood and creating a replica in quartz
- continuing erosion eventually brought the quartz logs back to the surface
So who cut the wood? No one. Eventually cracks develop in the petrified log and they break off in pieces perpendicular to their length.
Time now to get on our way. We missed a few turnoffs and the visitor center at the end of the park where we ended up was closed. It was a tour we are so glad we took. The desert here is so vibrant, so colorful and so stunning. Words and pictures simply cannot do justice to the natural beauty that is here. If you’ve been here before we hope we stirred up some wonderful memories. If you’ve never been here before we hope we’ve encouraged you to put it on your bucket list. It is not to be missed.
Leaving Crystal Forest we noticed it for the first time. It being the low fuel warning light on the dash! We had been so engrossed with the beauty around us we had not noticed it before. Yikes! How far could we go? How much fuel did we actually have left? We were not even completely out of the park yet. We had never, ever let the tank get this low before.
We finally came to the exit for the park and not a gas station in sight. All we could do was head north toward the Interstate (no idea how far that was) and hope before we had to get out and push we would find a gas station. The GPS said there was a gas station in 16 miles, if it was correct.
Yes, we made it – with a gallon left! We resolved there and then to never, ever let the tank get below a half a tank. Regardless of the price per gallon at the closest gas station.
All in all we had a great time. A fantastic tour through some absolutely stunning landscape. Along with a bit of high drama following. What more could one ask for in their day!
That’s it for today on The Road of Retirement. We’re stumped as to where to go in this area since so far everything we’ve discovered we’ve also found closed due to Covid-19. Ah well, we’ll make the most of our time here and do what we can.
I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it with every breath that I take we are among the most blessed and fortunate couple on the face of the earth. So I close with this
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!