On our way up to Washington in December, we saw an advertisement for the Petrified Forest National Park and impulsively decided to stop. You know, for a few minutes (aka two or three hours). The park is basically a big loop right off the freeway so it didn't really take us out of our way at all. We probably saw two or three other cars the entire time we were in the park. I have concluded from this and other such experiences that traveling in the winter (especially in the southwest) is totally worth it. If you're not hiking or camping, obviously. I mean unless that's your kind of thing.
First, we drove around and stopped at all the lookouts.
The views were stunning. The hills seemed to stretch on forever.
These striped hills were my favorite.
The photo below is of a log that petrified a really long time ago and remained after all the earth washed away. Later it was reinforced with concrete on the bottom.
And finally we saw the petrified forest.
Most of the petrified wood is made of quartz and it was so much more beautiful than I expected. My mom has a piece of petrified wood (that she bought, calm down) from a smaller forest in Washington and it isn't even close. It's brown.
Seriously, I was not expecting rainbows in rock form.
And then we had a lovely sunset as we got back on the open road.