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Posts tagged “Petrified Forest National Park

2009/19: Petrified Wood

Photographed at Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona

2009-019


2008 Vacation – part 5

…. and last part of our adventures.

June 17th we made one last vacation stop: the Petrified Forest. Greg asked me the day before to look on the map to see where exactly it is, and since we would be driving right past it, we figured we might as well spend some time there. We got there early in the morning and because we weren’t sure if the park would be open yet, we stopped at a huge gift shop that we spotted on the way to the park entrance, and that was already open for business this bright and early (I believe it was before 8 am). They had some gorgeous petrified wood. Some in big huge polished slabs that you could display, and some of it was made into tables. They cost thousands of dollars and probably weighed thousands of pounds… I don’t know how anyone who could afford to buy one, could actually get it home! The kids had fun, browsing through the store, too, and I think ended up with some kind of souvenir, although I can’t remember what. Then on we went to the State Park. We came to a visitors center/book store/Ranger station  and behind it was a path through a petrified forest, that we walked through.

It was a very hot day and we walked into the visitors center/book store/Ranger station  to cool off and look around. They had a few polished pieces of petrified wood, and a few dinosaurs on display and they every 30 minutes or so they showed a movie about the history of the petrified forest. We sat and watched it and afterwards the girls picked up an activity book from the Rangers who explained that if they did at least three activities in that book, they could become Junior Rangers. The activities were divided into age groups, but Sara still needed help because she couldn’t read. It was nice to see Melissa helping her – without asking her to! Here they are, answering questions in the book… sharing a chair even! Thought it was funny that they both kicked off their flip-flops.

And here they are getting “sworn in” as Junior Rangers after the Rangers checked all their answers. They got a little pin to wear, too. (Please excuse the awful color cast)

We ate lunch at the restaurant/gift shop at the Painted Desert entrance of the park and went on our way again. We didn’t make it that much further and for the first time on this trip, Greg asked me to do some of the driving. Our stop for the night was Moriarty, New Mexico, and we were there early enough for Greg to take the girls to the pool for a little while before dinner. I stayed in the room and enjoyed some time to myself.

June 18th was the longest and most boring day.  We drove and drove, and drove some more. Nothing but NOTHING to see! Greg had asked me what the panhandle was like because he had never been though that part of Texas. I told him that it was completely flat with a fresh farm smell. Well I guess he didn’t believe me about the farm smell (eeww) because he insisted on taking the a/c off of recycle so he could see if I was right. We just about choked on that fresh farm smell! At some point my poor husband lost his mind, too, and went crazy (perhaps too much of that fresh farm smell?). I have the pictures to prove it but unfortunately I can’t post them on the blog for fear that he will take my computer away and cancel our Internet if he saw them here. One of them IS in my zenfolio vacation album and you will be able to see it there. I will be e-mailing the link shortly, and anyone who didn’t get it, please feel free to contact me).  Lunch was probably the highlight of the day. Sad, I know, but the drive was sooo boring! We kept seeing billboards for The Big Texan Ranch, home of the free 72oz. steak. (http://www.bigtexan.com/) They are in Amarillo and that’s where we decided to eat lunch. Neither one of us even thought about trying to eat that free steak (I don’t like steak anyway)! Not only do you have to eat the steak, but ALL of the side dishes, too – within 1 hour!! They have a table set aside for anyone who wants to attempt to shove about 7 or 8 pounds of food down their throat (once you add the salad, shrimp, baked potato, and whatever else there may be) and when we got there, someone was sitting at that table, trying to get a free meal. He gave up long before his hour was up and left with most of his steak in a to-go box, and his wallet $72 lighter.

We finally made it HOME around 9:15 pm.    ~ The End.