I didn’t know what to expect from the National Petrified Forest. I knew I wouldn’t be walking into a bunch of trees, then again, maybe these trees were really scared.
I drove into the gift shop first. It was not actually in the park but outside of it. This place was a huge gift shop filled with every sort of fossil, mineral, rock, and shiny thing you could have ever asked for, all at double the prices as Sedona. Still, they had neat things like marbles, (for $4 per marble…) and lots and lots of petrified wood in every variation…. Big pieces, little pieces, polished pieces, rough pieces, pieces with bark, slices, giant slices made into tables, whole segments of tree, and in every color and series of colors under the sun. I looked around and walked out again.
I drove on to the Petrified Forest, paying $10 for the Jeep. I was told not to take any of the petrified wood and given flyers stating that taking any would result in $375 fine and that they could search our cars. Its just as well, most of the pieces lying on the ground here were enormous stump-sized chunks. You couldn’t drag one of those off without a forklift. It was basically a field of these shiny pretty rocks lying dead on the ground. There were paths weaving in and out you couldn’t leave. All and all it was rather unimpressive. I returned to the gift shop and bought a few tiny colorful pieces, both rough and polished. I left realizing the gift store was far more impressive than the actual forest (not to mention it had a virtual graveyard of geodes in the back, I mean thousands upon thousands of the suckers all thrown in giant piles.) It was interesting, and I was rewarded by seeing a teeny tiny jackrabbit baby springing away from me. Real cutie. SIGH.
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