Visiting Petrified Forest National Park
If you're ever driving through Arizona down I-40, it will be well worth your time to stop at the Petrified Forest National Park for a few hours. The park offers some great sights, most that you can enjoy from your car or a short walk.
My favorite part of the park is the view of the Painted Deserts from the Blue Mesa. The the rolling rock and sand look like waves of red, brown, and orange that go out as far as the eye can see. The landscape is so unusual you feel like you're on Mars.
Further along in the park, hieroglyphics and giant pieces of petrified wood hint at times long past. You can see a lot of this from your car but short trails throughout the park allow you to get a closer view.
Petrified wood is a type of fossil that resulted from a tree. The tree has become stone through a process called permineralization. This means the organic material of the plant has been completely replaced by minerals. Coloring of the petrified wood depends on the type of mineral. Petrified wood is an unusual fossil because it is not an impression or compression. It is an actually representation of the tree. It takes less than 100 years for plant stem tissue to petrify.