February 12, 2015
Destination: Painted Desert, Petrified Forest National Park
We are driving west to the Petrified Forest in Arizona, but our last stop before leaving New Mexico is the city of Gallup. The city is known as the “the Indian capital of the world”, and it is located in the middle of the Navajo reservation with both Hopi and Zuni tribes' presence. There are hundreds of shops (trading posts) selling Indian crafts throughout the city. Richardson's is the oldest and sells the most authentic Native American goods. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4-aVRLeIVA Not to be missed is a little museum on the second floor in the Gallup Cultural Center. If you want to talk Native Americans displaying their culture, this free museum is “the real deal”.
We didn't realize that the Petrified Forest runs through the Painted Desert, and that desert is a showcase of color: hues of reds, pinks, browns, purples, tans, and even whites greet the eye in every direction. One sight is more beautiful than the one before it. A photograph could never capture the 360-degree beauty and depth of the Painted Desert. Then, right around the corner are the marvels of petrified wood and logs. Some are huge, and others are small chunks, but they are strewn all over the desert floor for miles. Thank goodness for the foresight of preservationists; otherwise, these specimens would be in the hands of privateers, and our children would not have the benefit of visiting a whole forest of these stones. Although wood turned to rocks is explained by science, it's still a miracle! How is petrified wood formed? The best explanation is: http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/petrified-forest-national-park-ga2.htm
Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) are career professionals who are currently pursuing life-long interests in photography and digital imaging techniques, respectively.