Visiting Arizona, Part IV: Petrified and Painted

First, I want to give you a warning. You’ll be humming ‘I will survive’ for the rest of the time you spend reading this article. You can pick your own version, but it will happen. It happens to me every time I think of the petrified forest, because what other use of the word ‘petrified’ can you think of? Feel free to answer that. In the meantime, hum away. We’re going to the petrified forest and the painted desert.

But the Hermes House Band version is especially sticky to the brain.

If I may suggest a version: the Hermes House Band is especially sticky to the brain.

“First I was afraid, I was petrified.” We’d had our big trip from Phoenix to Sedona and the Grand Canyon and back to Phoenix. Seeing literally everything worth seeing in between the Canyons and Phoenix, we prepared for a last two days of luxurious laziness. We were staying somewhere with a lovely pool, and having escaped the cold of Missouri, sunshine and pool sounded fantastic. On our way to the pool, we dived into a bookcase and noticed one of those travel books with a million places to see before you die. They should sell those books geographically, where all the places you’d have to see are in a 100-mile radius and not that expensive. You know, you read a book that is essentially a bucket list, and after two weekends in the car you can die peacefully. Doesn’t work that way. Marrying Mrs Missouri means taking a 6-hour bus trip detour through Turkey just to see a spectacular mountain for a whopping two hours (totally worth it, though).


You can't see it, but behind those sunglasses are the tired eyes of Turkish bus travelers.

You can’t see it, but behind those sunglasses are the tired eyes of Turkish bus travelers.

“I should have changed that stupid lock, I should have made you leave the key, if I had known for just one second, you’d be back to bother me…” Alas, we fell into the trap of reading the travel book, and discovered Arizona had more to offer. Checking Google Maps, we found out we could in fact do the petrified forest, the meteor crater (that is really its name) and some weird mountain castle in one day. The next day, that is exactly what we did. The petrified forest was very cool. I was tempted to take one of the small pieces of petrified wood, but kept my composure. You are welcome, future visitors of the petrified forest. The most amazing thing to me was how well petrified wood is preserved. The forest wasn’t actually a forest, but rather the end station of a land slide that took a forest with it. The perfect storm of conservation circumstances makes for perfectly conserved petrified wood. It’s millions of years old, and still the logs look perfect. You can count the rings if you want to. It is conveniently located in the painted desert, so we took some pictures of the surroundings, too. From there on we drove to the crater (when you there, you realize it doesn’t deserve a name; it’s a big crater) and back home to the pool. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll start belting ‘I will survive in the shower’.

Petrified forest 1Petrified forest 2

Painted desert

Not before I leave you with some pictures, obviously.


3 thoughts on “Visiting Arizona, Part IV: Petrified and Painted

  1. I suppose we should be grateful for small mercies and thank the heavens you and Mrs Missouri didn’t go to visit San Francisco or we’d all be belting out “YMCA” by the Village People by now:)

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