Tuesday, May 05, 2009

This is not the best pic, but you can see petroglyphs on the rocks, especially if you look on the dark, farthest back rock. These were very old art left by the Indians that lived in the painted desert before it was so completely a desert. These rocks were very far away and it was hard to get good pics of them.
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Monument Valley to the Petrified Forest…

I really enjoyed the Petrified Forest which was coupled with the Painted Desert. It was easy to see where the Southwestern palette of colors comes from. Pinks, whites, sand and red stripes decorate these hills. The bands of color are so perfectly arranged, so consistent; one could think these hills were painted, thus the name.

The petrified forest was just down the road a bit. I loved the colors the wood takes on once petrified. It fascinated me how the wood still appeared to be wood, except for the colors and lack of branches. The bark appears normal until you touch it. I loved looking at all the different colors. The samples of polished petrified wood were so beautiful.
However, even what appears to be a regular size piece weighs a ton. The piece we looked at was coffee table top size, beautifully polished and weighed 800lbs. It’s easy to see why the big pieces don’t run away! Sadly, the forest has been plundered and continues to be prayed upon. Leave the wood at the park!! A lovely time!
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Monument Valley was on the list as well!
Grand Canyon to Monument Valley…
Our next park was Monument Valley. These huge monoliths of sand and rock are beautiful in their own, desolate way. Many photographers were there taking pictures. Here are the few I took…
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Just a couple more shots...The hike out was BRUTAL, for anyone who has not tried it. It was about three days before we could walk normally again.
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The Grand Canyon

Words cannot do justice to this natural wonder. Here are a couple of my favorite pics so far. John’s will no doubt be even better, feel free to view his website, they should be up in a week or so: www.johnwilkins.smugmug.com

We spent three nights and four days at the Grand Canyon. We camped on the rim for two nights and hiked to the river for the night of third camping. Backpacking in was fantastic with expansive views. However, the last 2 miles, were straight down and by the time we got to the bottom, our knees and calves were screaming.
Phantom ranch was lovely and the Ranger programs we attended were great. One was on the recovery and reintroduction of California Condors into the wild. The other was on bats and how essential these little critters are to our ecosystem. Of course, they were preaching to the choir on both accounts! An interesting point I wanted to tell everyone about; Condors were devastated by lead poisoning. Studies performed on how lead shot behaves once shot into an animal were very revealing. Any hunter who hunts and shoots an animal then brings this animal home to eat will be bringing home lead to poison his family if he has not change over to the copper shot that is being promoted now. The lead scatters and fragments once it enters the flesh. These microscopic fragments will accumulate in the body of whatever eats the contaminated flesh.Food for thought…
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