9.25.2009

Road Trip - Day 11 - Petrified Forest

The Petrified Forest is not very forest-y. It’s more lumpy and desert-y. We drove the 28 miles of National Park.

At the visitor’s center we watched a ten minute film. About 75% of the video was about how the trees fell and then washed down river and the logs got covered with silt and became rocks millions of years ago. The other 25% was a warning not to steal petrified rock. The scare tactics included a scene of a man being searched by cops and handcuffed when they found a huge chunk of petrified wood in his pants. Also letters from visitors returning pieces of stone; several hoping that a horrible string of bad luck would end if they gave back the cursed rock. The park estimates that one ton of petrified rock is stolen per month from the park.
Jeff tried to haul off the biggest petrified log in the park, Old Faithful. It is 35 feet long and weighs an estimated 44 tons. He had it half way to the car when his conscience got the better of him. So we lawfully bought a chunk for $9 from the Curio shop.

Then we drove on across the white mountains of New Mexico and will end today’s drive just over the border in Texas somewhere near El Paso.

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