Petrified Forest

Before leaving Arizona we made our last stop at Petrified Forest National Park.

 

All of the national parks are so different and interesting.  There is so much to learn from these wonderful lands and I am grateful that we have been able to visit so many.  Petrified Forest National Park is a very unique place.  It is not the only place  that petrified wood can be found; however, it is the largest concentrated area of petrified wood in the world.  We were able to  stay at a gift shop just outside the entrance to the park which was great because it was so close and had power for us!  We needed it because it got pretty cold at night while we were there.  The days were nice for hiking though so it all worked out.

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Volcanic Tour

IMG_0545      There is a very large section of this country that is covered with evidence of many different volcanic eruptions, including lava tubes, caves, and miles of volcanic rocks.  Luckily many of these areas are also federally protected lands.  It is important to keep these areas protected as they help geologists to reveal so much about the history of the Earth as well as it’s formation and how it has changed over time.  Some of these areas include Northern California, Southern Oregon, Eastern Oregon, Central Idaho, and into South West Montana, and North West Wyoming.  We unintentionally happened upon this trail without really knowing that it even existed.
Our first national park visit was to Crater Lake.  This huge lake was IMG_0501created by a volcanic explosion that left it inactive.  It was amazing to see how big and clear it is, and it is also the deepest lake in the United States.  The island that is clearly visible on the western side of the lake still looks like a small volcano rising up from the depths.  There is only one place around the entire lake that you can hike down to the water because the sides are so steep.  We would have liked to take this hike, but did not want to have to carry a four year old all the way back up to the top, so we had to forgo this particular hike.  Fortunately, there are many other hikes within the park that are more kid friendly that we enjoyed.  The kids really enjoyed the Castle Crest Trail which took us through a meadow and over a stream where we walked along rocks through the water.  This was the first stop on the volcanic tour we still did realize we were embarking on.

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