Road Trip IV – Meteor Crater and Petrified Forest National Park

Meteor Crater National Landmark

Meteor Crater  was on the way to the Petrified Forest and so we stopped there to gawk. Apparently, it is enough like the moon that NASA used it as a training base. Here is the crater:

 

At the bottom of the crater is an astronaut and flag similar to the moon landing for scale.

DSCN4745.JPG
Bottom of Crater

The rock walls of the crater tell of a significant event.

 

Crater Rim

I don’t know what the geologic consequence of this event was but it was smaller than the extinction events but still must have been pretty powerful.

DSCN5057

Petrified Forest National Park

The next stop was the Petrified Forest National Park. We didn’t get there until after 3:00 PM and due to staff shortages they close at 5:00 PM. We only had time to visit the visitor center and associated hike on the first day of our visit. It is an interesting place to visit. There are quite a variety of things to do and see in the park.

DSCN4748
Petrified Wood
DSCN4749
Explanation

This is the story of how the trees became petrified.

DSCN4753.JPG
Petrification Process

This was a wet, heavily forested area when the trees were growing.

 

Rainbow Forest

DSCN5111

Rainbow Forest with Mark for scale

The trees were from the Triassic Period and there are fossils found in the area. These creatures predated the dinosaurs.

DSCN4758
Placerias Hesternus

DSCN4772.JPG

This one looks like a dinosaur but is closer related to a reptile.

 

Rauisuchids

DSCN4771.JPG

DSCN4765.JPG
Aetosaurs

DSCN4770.JPG

DSCN4768.JPG
Dimorphodon

DSCN4769.JPG

 

 

Information Sheets

That is as far as we got on the first day. We retreated to a nearby motel and regrouped for the next day.

The first stop the next day was the crystal forest:

DSCN4856.JPG

 

Crystal Forest

 

The next hike was to see color:DSCN4973.JPG

 

Color

DSCN4997.JPG

 

Photographer

DSCN5432

There were native Americans living here many years ago.

DSCN5046.JPG

 

DSCN5044

DSCN5084

The last stop in the park is the painted desert.

 

Painted Desert

DSCN5584

DSCN5683

DSCN5632

The Petrified Forest National Park was well worth the visit.

Mark and Meg

3 thoughts on “Road Trip IV – Meteor Crater and Petrified Forest National Park

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s