Thursday, April 11, 2013

Petrified Forest, Painted Desert and Flagstaff

We got to Flagstaff, Arizona, today and are headed to the Grand Canyon tomorrow.   

Before we left Holbrook, Arizona, however, we visited the Petrified Forest National Park. One of the cool man-made things at the park (if you don't count amazing petroglyphs) was the Painted Desert Inn. The building was remodeled by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s and later operated by the Fred Harvey Company, a business with ties to the railroad and travel industry in the southwest.  The Fred Harvey Company recruited women from the east and midwest for its all-female wait staffs.  These “Harvey Girls” were provided housing, lived under the eye of a house mother, and were terminated if they got married.

We also drove the park’s 28-mile road with views of petrified wood, “log falls” (petrified logs that look like they flowed down a hill side) and the Painted Desert which runs from the Grand Canyon through the park.
Jim taking photos not far from the Visitors' Center.
Another Painted Desert shot.
The Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark is a Pueblo Revival-style  building. 
A petrified log with the Painted Desert in the background.  The logs were petrified when they fell into a stream, became waterlogged and were buried in silt so deep that the decay process stopped.  Eventually wood fibers were replaced by silica deposits which crystallized into quartz. 
This section of the park is called "The Teepees" and has blue,  purplish and gray rock formations created by iron, carbon and manganese deposits.
On to Flagstaff:  This gargoyle is on a Catholic church in downtown Flagstaff and I just had to take a photo. 
Our campsite at Flagstaff's Luke Air Force Base Recreation Area, which turned its water on today for the first time this year. By evening only three other campers were with us in the Ponderosa pines. 


  1. An A+ in anybody's book on your discussion of the petrified logs.

    In the personal tie-in category, my Grandmother Wagner, then a young runaway from an orphanage, was a Harvey Girl.

  2. Does that mean being adopted runs in your family? How does that work?