This petrified wood is from a subspecies of conifer that grew to 200 feet tall. It is ~225 million years old! This area was an entire forest, teeming with dinosaurs and tropical-looking plants, that was preserved by mud and volcanic ash.
The layers of the mountains change from the north end of the park - more red and orange - to the south end - blues, greys, browns, and maroon. Some of the formations were stark white and looked like large salt deposits.
We started on a "off the beaten path" 3 mile hike, where the trail was unclear at times and the path git narrow...on top of mountains! Sean climbed to the very top of the Blue Mesas, but my fear of steep drop-offs forced my scared self to sit on the side of the mountain with Dixie and wait. We got to have a snack and soak up the scenery while he braved the heights.
Most of the park could be seen from the truck, which was convenient fir having the pooch join us. But the views only seen from some walking were well worth the sore calves!
It was a full day of hiking, climbing, picture-taking, exploration, saying "wooooow", and learning.
Here is our take away: This "forest", the found dinosaur bones, petroglyphs, pueblo ruins, and the many distinct layers of the mountains all showcase the history of the area -- from millions of years ago to now. That, coupled with being in such a vast landscape with a remarkable 360 degree view, is humbling. It's a wonderful realization, on the top of a mountain...we are so small and are only on this earth for such a short time. Make every moment matter. Take chances. Live life... the way YOU want.
Glad we can share our experiences with you all🤗
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