Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Petrified Forest, AZ

The name of this National Park evokes thoughts of rows of lush dense, tropical stone Jurasic willows with stone birds flying overhead and stone frogs shooting their stone tongues out at giant stone mosquitos buzzing around. These expectations plus the fact that no petrified wood is easily visible for the first two thirds of the park (it is more of a desert than anything else) had us cracking up thirty years ago when I drove through with my mom, aunt, brother and sisters.

As we approached the park, I warned N that she shouldn't expect anything resembling a forest. She admitted to me that she originally had been imagining this, and would reset her expectations. This behind us, the park really was beautiful.

Once you get to the petrified wood, it really is quite beautiful and slightly humbling. These pictures don't do it justice.

It seems there is a problem with people stealing the petrified wood. And with logs going for thousands of dollars at the giftshop outside (all supposed to be collected from outside the park), you can imagine why this would be a problem.

Monday, September 5, 2011


The unexpected Native American Ceremonial put us behind in our schedule, but it was well worth it. Late in the day we made it to Arizona.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Gallup, NM, The Intertribal Indian Ceremonial

It was sort of stupid of me to plan a full trip around the country, and not plan a visit to an area where Native Americans live.  Fate remedied this for me when we drove into our Gallup, NM hotel late at night, only to learn that the city was hosting The Intertribal Indian Ceremonial that weekend, an event where Native Americans from around the country come.

We woke up and drove a few blocks up, until the road was closed off for the gathering.  After parking and walking in, we saw the parade.

Here are some scenes.

While standing, one of the performers invited Z to come dance with the group.  Here is the first YouTube video that I have ever posted of this.

Before going to The Red Rocks State Park, where the events continued, we walked to a New Mexican Cafe, where we got breakfast.

When we were inside, the sky exploded with hail.  I was so amazed by all the commotion that I ran to take a picture.  Some local guy stared amused at the foreign guy fascinated by precipitation.

The roads were flooded by the downpour.

Here we are at The Red Rocks State Park.

As a part of the event, we saw a rodeo.  This was my first time to see one.

During the show, the downpour began again.  We were already drenched, but took shelter anyway.

The rains ended.

Inside were some historical and cultural displays on Native Americans that lived nearby.